A new patent by Google filed on August 31st, 2021 and published on the 16th of December 2021 suggests that Google has become more serious about under-display cameras for their flagship handsets.

Noticed by LetsGoDigital, the patent described a technology similar to the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3, where a small part of the screen is semi-transparent.

This is an improvement on earlier and less practical patents by Google which featured prisms and moving parts.  Google’s patent suggests both the front-facing camera and other sensors may be located under the screen with the new design.

A Samsung-style Under-Display Camera (UDC) is of course not necessarily something to aspire to, as the version in the Fold 3 took particularly poor pictures and was also visible externally due to the low resolution of the overlying screen. Google of course are virtuosos in AI-based image reconstruction, so will likely not have major issues with the image quality, but hopefully will also have improved the technology a bit more, with other companies such as ZTE showing what is possible with their Axon line.

Interestingly the Google patent has been filed by Sangmoo Choi who has been with Google for 3.5 years, but who also filed similar patents for Samsung, where he worked for 14 years as ‘Principal Engineer’, with the task of ‘Team lead for new AMOLED technology development’. Hopefully, this will not cause conflict between the two companies in the future.

Given that there is some momentum for UDC, LGD suggests we may see the technology show up in the Google Pixel 7 Pro. Would our readers look forward to that, or do you think UDC are still too immature? Let us know below.

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