Rumors about a possible end of the notch on the iPhone have been ringing since practically before the notch was a reality on the iPhone X. There are several technologies that could make it a reality and one of them appears in this interesting patent: on-board cameras after screens which are removed on demand.

Screen or camera as needed

The idea of ​​being able to remove the screen in the area where the camera module is located to make room for the image capture is really interesting. It is a solution with which, on the one hand, we would enjoy a full screen without gaps or interruptions and, at the same time, it would maintain the best image quality in the cameras. This is exactly what the patent entitled “Electronic devices with adjustable display windows” explores.

One of the applications of folding screens that we have seen Apple patent in the past is precisely this. Apple offers to be able to fold the screen, still in the body of the device, without us noticing anything other than how a certain area of ​​the screen darkens so that we can identify us via Face ID or take a photo.

As can be seen from the patent images, Apple has explored different ways of moving the screen to make room for cameras. The main one is to simply bend the screen downwards, although some variations, such as the placement of a mirror system and periscope cameras, go even further in optimizing space.

Another suggested system is to scroll the entire screen and screw it to one end of the phone. Here the cameras would have a direct view, without mirrors. A system that also avoids having to move the screen towards the back of the device, which leaves more room for the components.

With the amount of patents we’ve seen on screens, one couldn’t imagine that one of the possible uses would be to make room for in-screen cameras, but the truth is, it’s a very elegant solution. . Being able to capture as much light as possible, with the highest quality and without distortion is essential for good image quality.

A delicate balance between screen quality and camera quality.

On the other hand, there are some sensors that are essential for Face ID to function that cannot be hidden behind a screen. Sensors that require direct vision to project points on the surface or take accurate distance readings.

Overall, what seems clear is that Apple is exploring ways to make our future iPhones essentially screen-like, bezel-less, non-interruptions, with nothing more than content ready to interact with it. In the iPhone 13, Apple has already started to rearrange the elements of the notch and reduce its size, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that it disappears in future versions.

Image | Jannis lucas