It was last year when Xiaomi provided a proof of concept for s screen that had an under-display camera. This front camera would lie under the screen and without any form of a notch, would practically remain invisible and dormant until it is needed. Imagine it to be just like an in-display fingerprint scanner, except instead of the scanner, there is a front camera.
One of the major hurdles in the path of making this design work successfully was the dense design of pixels. Practically in between the camera and the subject and any source of light, the pixels would block out most of the light from reaching the camera sensor under the screen. Xiaomi Vice President Lu Weibing wrote on Weibo about the same issue. He added that the entire industry is working hard to find a solution on the same.
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Xiaomi patents with under-display cameras
However, now a few renders have come up from LetsGoDigital that show patents with the technology implemented. These two Xiaomi patents were approved on April 24, 2020. The only difference between both designs is the placement of the in-display camera sensor. While one features it in the center on the top edge of the screen, the other has it on the top left.
In both designs, the description of the working of the technology is the same. The under-display camera sensor lies below the screen. However, when activated, the part of the screen above the sensor goes transparent, allowing light to flow in. When turned off, the part becomes opaque, displaying colors along with the rest of the screen.
The rest of the Xiaomi phone looks pretty standard given the time this patent was filed which was April 2019, over a year ago. There are very thin bezels, a slight chin, and rounded edges. While it is possible that other brands may finally crack the technology of these disappearing in-display cameras, those flagships are likely to be very expensive. However, knowing Xiaomi’s strategies, we could very well see an affordable device in the future with the feature.