The often well-informed leaker, Ice Universe, shared in a tweet on Monday, June 8, a video announcement from Visionox, a Chinese screen manufacturer, about the start of the first mass production of a selfie camera under the screen solution.
First unveiled on Oppo and Xiaomi's concept phones last year, selfies cameras hidden under the screen of a smartphone could finally hit the market in the near future. The announcement of the start of mass production seems to arrived just in time. This technology is still very limited technically, however.
China’s display manufacturers, Visionox, has just announced the world’s first mass-produced under-display camera solution. The world’s first under-display camera phone will be released. pic.twitter.com/QWkQioy2LZ— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) June 8, 2020
This under-display technology for the selfie camera of a smartphone would allow us to get rid of the notch or hole punch completely. To do this, manufacturers have until now opted for a retractable front camera module such as the shark fin of the early Oppo Reno 10x Zoom or the pop-up camera of the OnePlus 7 Pro, for example.
The selfie camera under the screen still has some serious technical limitations
The next hardware trend in the market is thus on track and we learn more in the columns of the Chinese specialized media ITHome. According to the site, Visionox would propose improvements in the transparency of the screen at the location of the selfie camera as well as a "never before seen design of the circuits and pixel structure" (according to my rough translation of Mandarin via Google Translation).
This is indeed one of the main obstacles of this technology: to obtain the same rendering as a front sensor by limiting the interference linked to the superimposition of the screen on the lens. Also according to ITHome, the manufacturer Visionox will work with various smartphone manufacturers to offer them an algorithm to limit diffraction and reflections to improve photo rendering.
However, a Xiaomi manager, Lu Weibing, explained last January that mass production of this type of screen was still far from being ready. In particular, he said that current 400 ppi (pixels per inch) screens drastically reduce the amount of light captured by a selfie camera under the screen.
We have contacted Visionox to find out more and will update the article if we get an answer. But the question remains: has Visionox found a technical and/or software solution to circumvent the limits of this technology, or is the firm just advancing anyway with a technology that may be imperfect at its launch?
We're now used to it with the hype around folding smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold, first buyers often serve as paid beta testers for the implementation of new tech. Without any release date or specific models announced, we will have to follow this issue closely.
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