Smartphone manufacturers have been working on ways to remove the notch and offer an all-screen experience. A temporary way around was the use of a motorised pop-up camera. While it did offer an all-screen experience, the concern of a moving part, along with the additional weight it brings led to companies sticking to notches and cutouts. Companies have been working on the under-screen front camera technology. ZTE unveiled the Axon 20 5G to become the first smartphone with an under-screen camera (USC). Samsung is rumoured to debut the Galaxy Z Fold 3 with a USC. Now, Chinese smartphone giant Oppo has announced that it has developed its version of USC to offer an immersive full-screen experience.
Oppo announced that it has combined the “best in hardware innovation” and its proprietary AI algorithms for the under-screen camera. It discreetly places the front-facing camera under the smartphone display in a way that maintains the integrity and consistency of the entire screen, both during use and while on standby. The company claims that its USC technology offers a perfect balance between screen quality and camera image quality without any compromises.
Oppo’s USC solution claims to solve many technical and manufacturing-related challenges that have plagued the technology so far. It resolves issues such as inconsistent display quality in the screen area above the under-screen camera, poor image quality caused by obstruction of the camera by the screen, as well as issues with product reliability and lifespan.
The company has also detailed down some of the innovations in design structure and AI algorithms that were done for its USC solution. For instance, Oppo’s USC shrinks the size of each pixel without decreasing the number of pixels to ensure a 400-PPI high-quality display even in the camera area. The company has also replaced the traditional screen wiring with an innovative transparent wiring material. Combined with a high-precision manufacturing process that reduces the width of the wiring by 50 per cent, this results in much finer display quality with a smoother visual experience.
Oppo has also used its proprietary display technology, with each pixel driving only 1 pixel (“1-to-1”). When combined with Oppo’s algorithmic compensation technology, it allows the chromaticity and brightness of the entire screen to be controlled with a deviation of about 2 per cent.
With regards to the camera, the company’s US Research Institutes has developed a series of imaging AI algorithms – including diffraction reduction, HDR and AWB – to reduce some of the negative side effects typically found in under-screen cameras, such as blurry images and image glare. Oppo has also trained its AI diffraction reduction model using tens of thousands of images to control problems caused by diffraction at the light source, allowing users to capture clearer, more natural-looking images.
There is no word on the first device that will feature Oppo’s USC tech as of now. Oppo said it will continue its research and development into hardware design and algorithmic processing capabilities to further optimise its under-screen camera technology.
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