Future Google Pixel phones could use revolutionary under-display camera tech

The notch could finally be gone, with an under-display camera that actually works

Google Pixel 7 Pro review
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

While the best phones on the market have really evolved in recent years, one thing that still plagues them is the front-facing camera. It's arguably more useful than ever, with Face ID used to unlock devices. But the cut-out or notch used to house it can be unsightly.

Google are trying to address that, with a revolutionary new under-display camera. That technology isn't new – we already see under-display cameras on devices like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. But Google's approach is definitely different to other methods we've seen on devices.

According to a patent unearthed by Forbes, the brand will use two specific regions on the display for twin cameras. The material above that will block or distort the light coming through accordingly, to ensure the right information hits each individual sensor. In theory, each of those could be a different sensor, with a unique material atop to capture different information.

For example, one of the sensors could specialise in capturing colour, while the other focuses on monochrome or sharpness. The duo of images captured could then be fused to form a full capture, with the help of machine learning.

It's an interesting approach. If the theory works, it could bring a solution to the army of notches and camera holes which currently mar the seamless appearance of the display on many handsets.

Don't expect it to make an appearance on the Google Pixel 8, though. Right now, this is just a patent that the brand have. There's no guarantee of when – or, indeed, if – the technology will hit the market. Many large brands will patent all sorts of things that their teams are working on. Some will make it into a formal release, others wont.

Regardless, it's good to see them working on it. If the technology does come to market, it could give users another reason to opt for a Pixel device over other Android phones on the market. 

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.