Samsung Electronics applied to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) for a patent titled “Electronic Equipment Including Sub-Displays and Operating Methods”. This patent describes a mobile phone whose front camera can be hidden by switching the screen layering. The patent was approved and publicized on December 24. The document shows that the screen of this model also supports the use of Samsung’s S Pen for operation. In addition to the Samsung Note series, the Galaxy S21 Ultra will arrive next month with S Pen support.
According to some renders from LetsGoDigital, this device is a nearly full-screen Samsung smartphone with narrow bezels and arc boundaries. When the user does not need to take a picture, the camera and the LED flash are hidden. However, when the user requires the front camera, it can automatically switch to a high-quality lens.
The top middle of the screen of this device is a transparent area. The secondary display (sub-display) layer is under the transparent area. This part of the module integrates a dual-camera lens (iris sensor and ordinary lens) and LED flash. Samsung plans to move the secondary display layer and transparent area through the built-in driver module. This module can move from top to bottom and from left to right.
Samsung hideable camera phone – a futuristic design
If the sub-display part is below the transparent area (the screen includes the upper glass, the middle-level display part, and the camera below). The top of the phone can display content normally, such as time and battery status, etc. However, if the sub-display is not below the transparent area (the screen has only a layer of transparent glass and the camera), the front lens system will appear on the top of the phone.
Therefore, Samsung can simply expose the iris sensor or lens, or show it all, or hide it all. In addition to the automatic mode, users can also manually open and close this part of the screen. There is a small slider next to the power button to control the movement of the sub-display. Furthermore, the sub-display part has a touch sensor, and users can also directly move with their fingers (tap twice or slide).
This design is obviously futuristic and we are not sure that this phone will hit the market anytime soon. Of course, this is only a patent and there is no guarantee that it will ever see the light of day.