Oppo, Xiaomi show off world’s first under-display camera technology

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New Delhi | Published: June 3, 2019 6:56:02 PM

Oppo and Xiaomi are both working on a new technology that equips a camera under the display

One of the many things that has gained as much controversy as the acceptance is the notch. Introduced to the world by the iPhone X, the notch became ubiquitous on phones. Almost every OEM, including Apple’s closest rival Google, jumped on the bandwagon to show their love for display notches. But a handful of these companies thought out of the box to invent unique mechanisms to get rid of the notch – punch hole, slider cameras, flipping cameras. Two Chinese manufacturers – Oppo and Xiaomi – have now demonstrated what could only be termed as the next big thing for smartphone displays.

Both Xiaomi and Oppo have posted videos showing a prototype device that packs what is being called the world’s first under-display camera. Essentially, the cameras in these prototypes have been embedded under the display, eliminating the implementation of those gimmicky workarounds. Oppo posted a video showing a prototype that has no notch, no punch hole, and no slider and still manages to click photos via the camera that is integrated into the display. Later, Xiaomi showed off a Mi 9 prototype with the same technology.

For now, this technology seems more like a long shot before the companies stress its viability in phones that will be commercially available. The technology still seems nascent and may need a series of tests. It is also not clear how the technology works or what components the companies are using to put a camera under the display. However, according to a media report, Xiaomi filed a patent in China to use a display that has two different portions – one with a photosensitive capacitor and another one without it, both featuring different drivers to allow the transmission of light to camera sensors.

The technology will also be available to other phone brands under the parent company BBK Corporation. The Chinese company has been a pioneer in inventing new methods to play around the camera in its efforts to reach the true bezel-less phone. It has, in the past, experimented with different mechanisms such as the sliding camera, double displays on a phone, and the recently introduced swing-flap camera. It wouldn’t be long before either company sheds more light on what is in store for this novelty.

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