It’s a novel way to solve a problem
While the screen notch is fast becoming standard on most flagship Android phones nowadays, Essential, the company co-founded by Android’s dad Andy Rubin was the first to release a phone that had that particular feature.
Now the company is looking for ways to solve the very issue that it created with its first phone via a series of patents that wants to stick a camera under the display. According to TechCrunch, “the patent describes a multi-layered display with camera in which a substantially transparent region allows light from outside to reach the camera to record an image. The patent points to a potential application in which the camera is mounted behind the LCD.”
The accompanying image explains the idea somewhat, with the camera still sitting in the same spot where you’d expect it to be only placed behind a screen’s layer, which records “light from the outside coloured by the colour filter layer”.
Another patent describes “an irregularly shaped electronic display, including a hollowed out display within which a sensor, such as a camera, can be placed. The manufacturing techniques enable the creation of the hollow anytime during the manufacturing process. The resulting electronic display occupies the full side of the mobile device, with the sensors placed within and surrounded by the display.”
Clearly Essential is looking for ways around the display trend that it first pioneered, though it’s unclear yet when the patents will be applied to actual, working prototypes and commercial products.