Oppo finally finds a way to hide selfie camera in smartphone display

Oppo concept

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Oppo hides punch hole camera by placing a camera app icon over the camera hole.
  • The icon is designed in a way that the camera hole forms a part of the icon.
  • When the user swipes the homescreen, the camera app stays there while other icons move swap places.

You must have read about smartphone manufacturers going to great ends for hiding the front camera. The aim is to get a fullscreen display and various companies are trying unique ways to hide the front camera. Vivo went for a pop-up camera on the Nex and a dual-display setup for the Nex Dual Display. Oppo went for full motorised camera housing on the Find X. Xiaomi and Huawei went for a sliding display while Samsung is trying to literally hide the camera underneath the display. Vivo even got rid of the selfie camera in the Apex 2019 concept, just to achieve a perfectly fullscreen display. Oppo though has an ingenious solution.

Since it will be a while before companies develop technologies to fully hide the front camera, various manufacturers will have to make do with in-screen cameras or punch hole cameras. As seen on the Honor View 20 or Samsung Galaxy A8s, the punch hole camera can still gather as much attention as the notch. The camera hole occupies space in the notification bar and is visible when one selects a light wallpaper.

What Oppo has done is put the camera app over the camera hole. In their latest patent filing, Oppo shows that the punch hole camera can be hidden by placing a camera app icon over the camera hole. The icon is designed in a way that the camera hole forms a part of the icon, showing the lens arrangement in real-time. When the user swipes the homescreen, the camera app stays there while other icons move swap places.

The implementation works for as long as the user stays in the homescreen. While watching a video or browsing through social media apps, the punch hole camera will be visible. It’s not clear whether the feature will retain the camera app alongside the other app icons on top of the display continuously. LG had gone for a similar implementation on the V10 with a secondary display showing app shortcuts continuously.

While this is still a patent, such an implementation could help Oppo hide the camera hole in more affordable devices. The patent also confirms Oppo’s intentions to adopt the punch hole camera display for its smartphones in the future.

On the other hand, its sister company Vivo is rumoured to bring the pop-up camera mechanism to its mainstream V series smartphones. OnePlus, on the other hand, is rumoured to go for the slider display technology for the next-gen OnePlus 7.

 

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