Recently Essential showcased a new concept they have been working on which came more than two years after the company launched their first smartphone. The new concept looked rather weird with a tall design.
However, it seems like that’s not the only phone that Essential has been working on. According to a patent filing with the USPTO, Essential is developing an in-display front camera. The patent titled “Optical sensors disposed beneath the display of an electronic device” was published on October 17, 2019, and it shows an in-display front camera.
Various different concern sensors and other components that can be disposed of a variable transparency layer or a mobile device. By modifying how much voltage is applied to the variable transparency layer, a component, such as a camera, can be readily hidden when not in use. More specifically, the variable transparency layer may be substantially opaque when the camera is not in use and at least partially transparent when the camera is in use and ready to capture an image. The opacity level of the variable transparency layer can be modified by a voltage source that is electrically coupled to the variable transparency layer. The various levels of opacity could also enable the variable transparency layer to act as an electronic aperture for the camera.
The concept uses a similar feature as the current in-display fingerprint scanner where the display can be both transparent and opaque. At this point, we don’t know if the feature will make an appearance on the final product or not. That said, Essential is not the only company that’s working on implementing the in-display front camera. We have seen several similar patents from other companies like Samsung.