Looks like Samsung is keen on making the super sci-fi trend of under-panel cameras a reality as a part of what it calls the Samsung Blade Bezel, which marries OLED and UPC tech to create super-thin screen bezels.
There can be no doubt that webcams have been in high demand recently. With COVID-19 restrictions gripping society, home offices have become the new norm, and webcam sales have sky-rocketed as a result. It makes sense then, that laptops with built-in cameras have seen an upturn in sales. But with a trend toward thinner screens and bezels, Samsung has been finding new ways to incorporate cameras into their displays without them encroaching on your precious screen space.
One solution to the camera-screen cold front we've seen in mobile phone manufacturing has been pop-up cameras, with designs like the Oppo Reno2 Z taking centre stage. But seriously, how 90's do these look? And you can be sure that's another accidental breakage waiting to happen.
Thankfully Samsung is going a different route, not with its line-up of smartphones, but with its laptops. Because screw finding out your cam had popped itself open and snapped off in your bag somehow.
According to reports from Sciencemint and The Verge, the Blade Bezel includes an "invisible camera hole." It's completely concealed by the OLED display, but a section of the display becomes translucent when the camera is active. Other than that, Samsung is staying pretty quiet the intricacies of the tech.
Perhaps just as impressively, the new 13.3-inch OLED panel is not only 50g lighter than standard OLED panels, it's also only 1mm thick—that's half the usual thickness.
Samsung has been hinting in this direction for a number of years, and some believe the tech will debut in the world of smartphones first, then should migrate comfortably onto Ultra-HD OLED panels for laptops. It's not a part of the latest Samsung S21 smartphone range, that's for sure. Perhaps we'll be seeing this in Samsung's next wave of Chromebooks, but it may end up licencing the tech to any number of their OLED display partners.
Unfortunately the likelihood of the under-panel camera quality being as good as we'd like is pretty low, but it's a step in the right direction, perhaps.
And while we're always advocates of equipping your home office with the best webcams, there's something exciting and novel about under-screen webcams, even if they may not be top-tier resolution.