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Microsoft patents under-display camera based on its logo

Surface Duo 2020
Surface Duo 2020 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Surface Duo 2020

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft patented an under-display camera design that's inspired by the company's logo.
  • The setup would use four cameras that each have different color filters.
  • The patent discusses the camera system on both mobile phones and PCs.

Microsoft may have a unique design on the way in the tech industry's neverending battle against notches. A recently published patent spotted by LetsGoDigital discusses an under-display camera setup. The setup shown in the patent has four cameras that each filter different colors. In addition to making the camera setup look like the Microsoft logo, the design allows devices to get four images that they can stitch together.

"Colors in an icon may provide color filters corresponding to an array of lenses that focus color-separated light on one or more camera sensors,' reads the patent's abstract. "Sensors may be optimized for particular colors. Color-separated images may be combined into a single image."

Some may jump to assume that under-display camera technology would be aimed exclusively at phones. We've already seen some companies test the water with other forms of under-display cameras. That's not the case with Microsoft's patent, however. The patent clearly discusses and illustrates how the camera system could work on mobile devices and PCs.

"Camera thickness may be reduced using multiple lenses and sensors," says Microsoft in the patent. The company adds that the setup could be used to show notification colors or act as decoration on a display.

While the under-display nature of this design is unique, Microsoft also discusses using it on the back of a phone as well. This could see the benefit of reduced thinness without having to battle taking images through a screen or placing a logo on a display.

As is the case with all patents, this design may never ship on an actual device. It is interesting, however, to see Microsoft try to innovate in the display space. The patent was filed in November 2019 but wasn't published until May 13, 2021.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

6 Comments
  • If this means no camera bump on the back of the phone and no hole punch or notch on the front of the phone I'm 100% in with this.
  • I agree! There is nothing worse on a phone than a camera bump.
  • Feces would be worse.
  • Very interesting. If they can maintain the slimness of the Surface Duo and get those cameras in, and they have comparable quality to the top-of-the-line phones in the market, that's a solid and creative win!
  • I really look forward to the camera, whether it be in the form of a notch or a wide top bezel, just disappearing. But even better, I like that the camera will no longer be restricted to the top (or any other edge) of the screen and can be placed closer to where a video call partner's eyes would be, better facilitating eye contact during meetings.
  • As cool as the possibilities are for future phones, I'm much more excited about the idea of using this under a computer monitor to enable natural eye contact in video calls. Tricks like the Surface Pro X's AI adjustment are ok, but actually looking into a camera while seeing the person you're talking to would obviously be better.