A patent that was filed last year and become public recently indicates that Microsoft may jump on the nascent under-display camera trend.
Microsoft’s proposed implementation goes beyond photography. When the camera is not in use, a logo will be displayed, and the area could also be used to show a privacy warning or incoming notification.
That’s a creative idea because the handful of commercial and prototype under-display cameras we have seen so far are not really invisible and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will reportedly be no better. So, it might make sense to display a small logo over an imperfectly disguised under-panel camera.
The document says that the under-panel camera setup may have multiple sensors and each sensor will be assigned a different color filter, which could be fixed or variable.
Microsoft also acknowledges that an under-display camera setup would have its own set of challenges such as signal loss and “image quality loss by diffraction and scattering from display components.”
To address these issues, Microsoft proposes computationally removing diffraction artifacts and using AI to train the system to correct light loss. The logo camera could also be placed on the back of a device.
The novel idea sounds really sciency and the system will undoubtedly be easier to comprehend when we see it in flesh, which is not guaranteed.
For now, the Surface Duo 2, and other Microsoft devices for that matter, will likely stick to conventional cameras.