Microsoft patents a colorful take on the under-display camera

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Surface Duo 2020Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

Microsoft may have a unique design on the way in the tech industry’s neverending battle against notches. A recently published patent spotted by LetsGoDigital discusses an under-display camera setup. The setup shown in the patent has four cameras that each filter different colors. In addition to making the camera setup look like the Microsoft logo, the design allows devices to get four images that they can stitch together.

“Colors in an icon may provide color filters corresponding to an array of lenses that focus color-separated light on one or more camera sensors,’ reads the patent’s abstract. “Sensors may be optimized for particular colors. Color-separated images may be combined into a single image.”

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Some may jump to assume that under-display camera technology would be aimed exclusively at phones. We’ve already seen some companies test the water with other forms of under-display cameras. That’s not the case with Microsoft’s patent, however. The patent clearly discusses and illustrates how the camera system could work on mobile devices and PCs.

“Camera thickness may be reduced using multiple lenses and sensors,” says Microsoft in the patent. The company adds that the setup could be used to show notification colors or act as decoration on a display.

While the under-display nature of this design is unique, Microsoft also discusses using it on the back of a phone as well. This could see the benefit of reduced thinness without having to battle taking images through a screen or placing a logo on a display.

As is the case with all patents, this design may never ship on an actual device. It is interesting, however, to see Microsoft try to innovate in the display space. The patent was filed in November 2019 but wasn’t published until May 13, 2021.

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