Apple wins a patent for Killing the Notch and placing their TrueDepth camera system behind the Display so as to not interfere with content
Last summer Patently Apple posted a report titled "While Apple is working on ways to eliminate the iPhone's camera notch, Samsung delivered a clever solution on their new Galaxy Z Fold3." Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to eliminating the iPhone's notch and repositioning the TrueDepth camera system behind the iPhone's display very much like Samsung has already accomplished.
Today, Apple's TrueDepth camera notch reduces the potential size of the display, as the camera occupies a portion of the front surface of an iPhone preventing the portion from being occupied by the display.
Apple granted patent issued today describes the iPhone including a display having a front surface and a back surface. The display includes a plurality of pixel regions that emit light from the front surface to display a displayed image and a plurality of apertures that transmit light from the front surface to the back surface. The iPhone includes a camera disposed on a side of the back surface of the display. The camera is configured to capture images.
The iPhone includes a processor coupled to the display and the camera. The processor is configured to receive the captured image and apply a first digital filter to a first portion of the captured image and a second digital filter, different than the first digital filter, to a second portion of the captured image to reduce image distortion caused by the display.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 below illustrates the current iPhone Notch design and FIG. 3 illustrates a future iPhone design with the TrueDepth camera system hidden behind the back of the display imagery.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 above illustrates a future operating environment #400 wherein the camera system is behind the display imagery. Apple notes that "although the camera #420 does not necessarily contact the display #410, the camera is closer to the back surface (#418) of the display than the front surface #417.
Apple's patent FIG. 12 below illustrates a functional block diagram of a device (#1200) including restoration optics #1220 configured to reduce image distortion caused by a display #1210.
In various implementations, the restoration optics include a bandpass filter #1222. For example, if the camera #1230 includes visible light sensor elements, the bandpass filter filters light to the visible wavelength range. As another example, if the camera includes infrared light sensor elements, the bandpass filter filters light to the infrared wavelength range.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent 11,294,422.