LG Innotek has begun development of under panel camera, in which the camera lens is not visible on the screen of smartphones, TheElec has learned.
The move is being made most certainly for its main customer Apple, which is expected to launch smartphones with the technology within the next few years.
UPC is applied to smartphones to present the screen on smartphones as “full screen” to increase immersion. It is alternatively called under display camera.
Because the camera is under the display, the image sensors get to absorb less light needed to form images.
This prevents UPC from offering high-resolution images and fast, consecutive shots.
To overcome these challenges, LG Innotek is developing a special lens called prism optic.
The technology uses conventional lenses with curved surfaces and those with freeform surfaces.
LG Innotek, in related patents filed two years ago in South Korea, said prism lens allows the control of the thickness of other lenses used in the camera.
This allows the reduction of optical aberration that can be caused by the loss of light and increases the ratio of light around the optical module, the company said.
However, this doesn’t mean Cupertino will apply UPC on its iPhones anytime soon.
Sources said the company had previously received UPC samples from its suppliers and was unsatisfied with what it received.
LG Innotek’s sister company LG Display is also developing its own UPC technology. LG Display is planning to use transparent material in the area where the front camera will be.
Samsung began applying UPC in 2021 with its foldable smartphones but the resolution of the cameras is much lower than conventional smartphones.