Apple never discusses its future plans, except in rare cases. Nevertheless, the firm files a large number of patent applications. And some of these requests can sometimes give us an idea of the technologies the firm is working on.
For example, recently, our colleagues from TechRadar relayed a patent from Apple that would describe a system that could allow the Cupertino company to offer devices whose front camera is hidden under the screen. In essence, this technology would hide the screen under a part of the screen and let the light pass when the user wants to take a selfie, for example.
An invisible camera?
Currently, Apple offers iPhones with “borderless” screens. Nevertheless, its smartphones have a notch on which the front camera is placed as well as other sensors necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the device.
Still, if Apple manages to hide the front camera under the display, it might be able to finally say goodbye to the notch it popularized with the iPhone X. But of course, for now, it is only a patent. And nothing says the Cupertino company will use this one. Indeed, companies of this size have a great many intellectual properties, but not all use them.
A technology that is already being explored by manufacturers of Android devices
However, it should be noted that the camera hidden under the screen is not science fiction. This year, the Chinese brand ZTE has launched the ZTE Axon 20 5G, the first smartphone equipped with an invisible front camera (of which the quality of the photos would however be very questionable).
Otherwise, Xiaomi foresee also to start mass-producing smartphones using the same technology from 2021. And the manufacturer indicates that its invisible cameras will provide the same quality of photos as conventional cameras that are not hidden by a screen.
As far as Apple is concerned, it’s a safe bet that while it might one day use invisible cameras, it will certainly wait until this technology is fully developed before using it on a commercial model. Otherwise, some media suggest that in addition to the iPhone, the Cupertino company could also use the cameras hidden under the screen for watches.
Indeed, the Apple Watch could become an excellent device for video devices if Apple manages to embed a front camera on it without spoiling the design.