As previously teased, OPPO has showcased an impressive Under-Screen Camera (USC) technology during MWC Shanghai 2019. This new technology eliminates the need of notches, punch hole housings or even pop-up modules for front facing cameras. With that, future OPPO (or even general) smartphones would have all-screen displays with a substantial screen-to-body ratio. While that may sound highly intriguing, but how does USC technology actually work?
An Eye Behind The Pixels
The USC features a customised camera module that captures more light with zoning control implemented on the screen. The camera is placed underneath a small part of the smartphone’s screen which is made of highly transparent material that is not visible to the user. Think of it as a one-way mirror but instead of a reflective surface, it features an active display. OPPO decided on a larger sensor with bigger pixels and large aperture so the camera could capture plenty of light underneath the transparent material.
OPPO has also taken steps to counter issues that are to be expected for an under-screen camera system such as glare, hazing, colour inaccuracies, and noise by redesigning the pixel structure of the transparent material, as well as developing a number of algorithms to help counter them. Algorithms supporting the USC includes haze removal which increases sharpness, HDR that balances exposure, and White Balance to keep the colours captured true to subject that is being photographed. These algorithms would also help employ the usual selfie enhancements such as beauty mode and various filters to the camera.
When Will We Get It?
The company also stated that the phone with USC equipped currently featured at MWC Shanghai 2019 is merely a prototype, and the technology is still a work in progress. OPPO also commented that, at this current stage, the USC might not hit certain expectations from users just yet, and a smartphone featuring this technology can be expected in the near future but not necessarily in 2019. Regardless, it will be interesting to see further progress on USC technology as it could actually become a new revolutionary step forward in smartphone and technological innovation.