We, as mobile users, some times take for granted the time, effort and problem-solving that goes into designing and manufacturing that one device we use for everything, the smartphone.
Ground-breaking mobile cameras
Smartphone manufacturers have pushed boundaries in recent year and came up with various solutions for that tiny camera setup on the front of you mobile device: the “selfie camera”.
First, the screen edges were minimised to provide additional but much-needed space for the camera’s inner workings. Once that problem was solved, the notch was introduced, but not loved by everyone in the industry.
To punch-hole or not to punch-hole
Since then we’ve seen pop-cameras, punch-hole cameras, phones with folding screens that serve as tripods; even under-screen camera, with Oppo being the first manufacturer to break that record.
Xiaomi recently filed a patent for a camera under the screen, and rumour has it that Nokia might follow a similar route. We now have confirmation that mobile giant Samsung has been working on something interesting as well.
New Samsung patent
However, Let’s Go Digital discovered that Samsung Electronics submitted five design patents with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) back on 16 October 2019 already.
The patent documents mention a selfie camera with a “graphical interface around the camera system”. View the patent files here, but you might need Google Lens to translate for your: Design 1, Design 2, Design 3, Design 4 and Design 5)
In addition, the interface reportedly serves to indicate the status of the task you are currently performing; such as displaying a time while recording footage or creating a hyper-lapse file.
“When the user activates the cameras automatic time-lapse shooting function on the mobile phone, the timer diagram suitable for screen perforation will be triggered. The image shows the progress status of the camera timer.”
Samsung patent file description
Uses and placement of the status indicator
Other uses for the graphical interface include a timer for downloading a file or application. According to Let’s Go Digital, “four out of five patents are based on a double punch-hole camera”.
As for the placement, however, the camera setupis usually situated either to the far-left, the far-right; or the centre of the device. The camera in the Galaxy S20 series camera is situated in the centre.
Several other smartphone manufacturers have since copied Samsung by releasing at least one phone model with a dual-front camera. However, most other manufacturers opt for the top left corner.
Samsung will like introduce it’s next flagship series – the Galaxy Note 20 in August 2020. We look forward to seeing if the status indicator would be incorporated in the Note 20 series.
Note: The images used in this article were created by Giuseppe Spinelli, and licensed to Let’s Go Digital.