Apple refining OLED screen penetration tech for removal of iPhone notch

Posted:
in iPhone
The infamous notch at the top of the current generation of iPhones could be eliminated in a future version, with Apple looking into including openings in the display itself that cameras, speakers, and other sensors could be positioned behind, providing them with access to the outside world while minimizing their appearance.




Since the introduction of the notch in the iPhone X, device producers have attempted to come up with ways to maximize the screen size while managing the need to include certain types of components. Aside from cameras, as with the TrueDepth array, manufacturers also have to find ways to include other elements, such as physical holes to allow microphones and speakers to function.

It's these physical openings that make a full-screen smartphone hard to produce. Sure, areas of a display panel could be excluded to make a porthole for a camera to see through while maintaining the smooth appearance of the front glass, but for holes there isn't any way to easily hide their existence.

In a patent granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday titled "Electronic devices having displays with openings", Apple proposes the inclusion of openings in the display that fit between pixels to minimize their impact. Components are then mounted within the device's casing behind the display to align with the gaps.

How holes in the OLED panel could allow acoustic components like speakers and microphones to function
How holes in the OLED panel could allow acoustic components like speakers and microphones to function


Apple claims it could use OLED technology, which would allow for the display to function with cutouts far easier than LCD due to the pixels being self-illuminating, so eliminating the need to add a backlight to the display stack. The display would also include the use of thin-film transistor circuitry, and a layer of sealant.

Depending on the component behind the display, there may be the use of a color filter material to block specific wavelengths of light, or to help transmit certain types. This could be useful for elements like the TrueDepth camera array, which relies on infrared to project dots onto the user's face.

It is also suggested the technique could be used to enclose an interior cavity featuring a light sensor and an overlapping display. The display would include a "light-transmitting window" interposed between pairs of pixels, with light reflected to the light sensor. This would in theory enable the creation of Touch ID that works through a display.

An example of a series of holes made in a display that could be used for Touch ID purposes
An example of a series of holes made in a display that could be used for Touch ID purposes


Apple files numerous patent applications on a weekly basis, but while the existence of a filing may indicate areas of interest for the company, it is far from guaranteed that it will appear in a future product or service.

The idea of hiding components behind the screen certainly isn't new to Apple.

One patent application from August suggested the use of "light transmitting windows," namely areas where components are placed behind an OLED panel in such a way that areas of the display do not self illuminate when the component is in use, enabling a camera to see the world or the user, for example. The sections could also feasibly be produced to be more transparent than other areas, keeping the display as optimal as possible for normal use.

In May, a patent application proposed the use of holes in a display and light reflections to a light sensor as part of a Touch ID system, again hiding it behind the display.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,269member
    But, but, but...   What then will the NotcHeads have to complain about?

    The notch keeps them busy and out of trouble.

    #KeepTheNotch!
    lkruppjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,454member
    But, but, but...   What then will the NotcHeads have to complain about?

    The notch keeps them busy and out of trouble.

    #KeepTheNotch!
    You only see the notch complaints in forums like this one. In the real world no one cares and have adapted easily to it. But as you point out, the negative types will indeed find something else to complain about, probably about the lack of a notch then. Rest assured, they’ll find something to be unhappy, disappointed, disgruntled about.
    edited October 1 StrangeDaysSoundJudgmentthtnetmagetmaysuddenly newtonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 28
    revenantrevenant Posts: 537member
    keep the genius coming. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 28
    All of this to get around having a little bit of bezel. Really, really stupid. lkrupp said:
    But, but, but...   What then will the NotcHeads have to complain about?

    The notch keeps them busy and out of trouble.

    #KeepTheNotch!
    In the real world no one cares
    I wouldn't go that far. Every single developer cares. The notch is the stupidest thing to ever come to the concept of the computer display. And only arrogant Apple could get away with it.


    rinosaur
  • Reply 5 of 28
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,787member
    All of this to get around having a little bit of bezel. Really, really stupid. lkrupp said:
    But, but, but...   What then will the NotcHeads have to complain about?

    The notch keeps them busy and out of trouble.

    #KeepTheNotch!
    In the real world no one cares
    I wouldn't go that far. Every single developer cares. The notch is the stupidest thing to ever come to the concept of the computer display. And only arrogant Apple could get away with it.
    Did you forget your sarcasm tag!? It’s absolutely not a big deal. It has zero negative affect in my life. It’s no more bothersome than the rear-view window in my windshield. 
    lkruppgilly33n2itivguyroundaboutnownetmageRonnnieOradarthekatllamatmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 28
    mobirdmobird Posts: 316member
    All of this to get around having a little bit of bezel. Really, really stupid. lkrupp said:
    But, but, but...   What then will the NotcHeads have to complain about?

    The notch keeps them busy and out of trouble.

    #KeepTheNotch!
    In the real world no one cares
    I wouldn't go that far. Every single developer cares. The notch is the stupidest thing to ever come to the concept of the computer display. And only arrogant Apple could get away with it.


    So Apple should have shelved FaceID just to prevent anyone from being butt-hurt?
    lkruppgilly33n2itivguyStrangeDaystmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 28
    All of this to get around having a little bit of bezel. Really, really stupid. lkrupp said:
    But, but, but...   What then will the NotcHeads have to complain about?

    The notch keeps them busy and out of trouble.

    #KeepTheNotch!
    In the real world no one cares
    I wouldn't go that far. Every single developer cares. The notch is the stupidest thing to ever come to the concept of the computer display. And only arrogant Apple could get away with it.
    Did you forget your sarcasm tag!? It’s absolutely not a big deal. It has zero negative affect in my life. It’s no more bothersome than the rear-view window in my windshield. 
    It makes the usable space of the iPhone less. And awkward to work with. It is a benefit to NO ONE and an obstacle for every single developer in the world. There is nothing good about it. Only bad. 

    You can pretend that it doesn't bother you as a user, but thats just delusion. It would be better if it were not there, and it will be better when it is not there anymore. Unfortunately we'll still be dealing with it for a decade as these few generations of devices with notches fade into obsolescence.

    berndog
  • Reply 8 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,454member
    All of this to get around having a little bit of bezel. Really, really stupid. lkrupp said:
    But, but, but...   What then will the NotcHeads have to complain about?

    The notch keeps them busy and out of trouble.

    #KeepTheNotch!
    In the real world no one cares
    I wouldn't go that far. Every single developer cares. The notch is the stupidest thing to ever come to the concept of the computer display. And only arrogant Apple could get away with it.
    Did you forget your sarcasm tag!? It’s absolutely not a big deal. It has zero negative affect in my life. It’s no more bothersome than the rear-view window in my windshield. 
    It makes the usable space of the iPhone less. And awkward to work with. It is a benefit to NO ONE and an obstacle for every single developer in the world. There is nothing good about it. Only bad. 

    You can pretend that it doesn't bother you as a user, but thats just delusion. It would be better if it were not there, and it will be better when it is not there anymore. Unfortunately we'll still be dealing with it for a decade as these few generations of devices with notches fade into obsolescence.

    That’s sick logic. Someone who disagrees with your opinion is delusional? "Every single developer” hates the notch? You sound like the proverbial Android weirdo who claims only stupid people buy Apple products. Get a grip, man.
    n2itivguyroundaboutnownetmageStrangeDaysllamatmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 28
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 763member
    I’ve played with an XS and just recently an 11. Honestly within a few seconds I didn’t even see the notch any more. 
    Now having scattered dead pixels because they had to poke holes in the screen, THAT would be annoying. But I suspect Apple will do everything possible to hide them. For me, It’s not an issue, I’m looking at getting an 11 and the notch is irrelevant.
    n2itivguyroundaboutnowbonobobRonnnieOStrangeDaystmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 28
    I’ve been waiting for years for a webcam that sits behind the centre of a screen so when one is looking at a person on the other side of a FaceTime or Zoom call it would look and feel like genuine eye-to-eye contact.  Nice development if they can make it work in high-def, particularly on desktops, laptops and iPads.  

    I’m using a good external webcam for webinars, but placement at eye level blocks my being able to see the person at the other end, or the PowerPoint slide if I’m presenting. 
    edited October 1 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 28
    This reminds me of their AA-Cell powered bluetooth keyboards and trackpads. The aluminium housing included a led light which was mounted behind a small array of microscopic holes. This allowed light to pass through when the led was on, but was otherwise imperceivable.
    netmagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 28
    Whether it shows potential for ARM Macbook then it is super. Benchmarks against A12X or A13X will be interesting.

    Real question what kind of software you can run on it. If Apple has this problem solved, then they would probably made ARM Macbook already.

    But, but, but...   What then will the NotcHeads have to complain about?

    The notch keeps them busy and out of trouble.

    #KeepTheNotch!
    Do not worry. Jack and high prices will be here always in case all other disappear. :-) We have saying something like "it is easy to find a stick to beat a dog" You say probably: The one who wants to blame someone can always find an error in him
  • Reply 13 of 28
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,360member
    Mariner8 said:
    I’ve been waiting for years for a webcam that sits behind the centre of a screen so when one is looking at a person on the other side of a FaceTime or Zoom call it would look and feel like genuine eye-to-eye contact.  Nice development if they can make it work in high-def, particularly on desktops, laptops and iPads.  

    I’m using a good external webcam for webinars, but placement at eye level blocks my being able to see the person at the other end, or the PowerPoint slide if I’m presenting. 
    Center of the display seems too low, and if you window it on a Mac then it could be anywhere on the screen. I think Apple's solution for real-time augmentation of the feed to adjust gaze is the better solution than putting an inferior camera in an odd location.
    roundaboutnownetmagebonobobradarthekatllamatmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 28
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,360member

    All of this to get around having a little bit of bezel. Really, really stupid. lkrupp said:
    But, but, but...   What then will the NotcHeads have to complain about?

    The notch keeps them busy and out of trouble.

    #KeepTheNotch!
    In the real world no one cares
    I wouldn't go that far. Every single developer cares. The notch is the stupidest thing to ever come to the concept of the computer display. And only arrogant Apple could get away with it.
    Did you forget your sarcasm tag!? It’s absolutely not a big deal. It has zero negative affect in my life. It’s no more bothersome than the rear-view window in my windshield. 
    It makes the usable space of the iPhone less. And awkward to work with. It is a benefit to NO ONE and an obstacle for every single developer in the world. There is nothing good about it. Only bad. 

    You can pretend that it doesn't bother you as a user, but thats just delusion. It would be better if it were not there, and it will be better when it is not there anymore. Unfortunately we'll still be dealing with it for a decade as these few generations of devices with notches fade into obsolescence.
    LOL You're delusional to claim that usable space is less than having a chin and forehead. Having the Status Bar items in the "ears' clearly allows for more relevant content to be displayed in the given footprint of the device. It's because of the new design that an extra row of icons were possible without having to increase the height of the device,
    roundaboutnownetmagebonobobradarthekatStrangeDaystmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 28
    lkrupp said:
    All of this to get around having a little bit of bezel. Really, really stupid. lkrupp said:
    But, but, but...   What then will the NotcHeads have to complain about?

    The notch keeps them busy and out of trouble.

    #KeepTheNotch!
    In the real world no one cares
    I wouldn't go that far. Every single developer cares. The notch is the stupidest thing to ever come to the concept of the computer display. And only arrogant Apple could get away with it.
    Did you forget your sarcasm tag!? It’s absolutely not a big deal. It has zero negative affect in my life. It’s no more bothersome than the rear-view window in my windshield. 
    It makes the usable space of the iPhone less. And awkward to work with. It is a benefit to NO ONE and an obstacle for every single developer in the world. There is nothing good about it. Only bad. 

    You can pretend that it doesn't bother you as a user, but thats just delusion. It would be better if it were not there, and it will be better when it is not there anymore. Unfortunately we'll still be dealing with it for a decade as these few generations of devices with notches fade into obsolescence.

    That’s sick logic. Someone who disagrees with your opinion is delusional? "Every single developer” hates the notch? You sound like the proverbial Android weirdo who claims only stupid people buy Apple products. Get a grip, man.
    I don't engage in this internet opinion facade, where everyone pretends they have an equally valid opinion. They don't. I speak with authority, on the things I'm qualified to speak about, and don't really care if you want to "disagree". There isn't anything to disagree with. Developers hate the notch, and are counting the days until it is gone. It adds nothing. And only detracts. This isn't an opinion. And it wasn't the first time.
    Carnage
  • Reply 16 of 28

    Soli said:

    All of this to get around having a little bit of bezel. Really, really stupid. lkrupp said:
    But, but, but...   What then will the NotcHeads have to complain about?

    The notch keeps them busy and out of trouble.

    #KeepTheNotch!
    In the real world no one cares
    I wouldn't go that far. Every single developer cares. The notch is the stupidest thing to ever come to the concept of the computer display. And only arrogant Apple could get away with it.
    Did you forget your sarcasm tag!? It’s absolutely not a big deal. It has zero negative affect in my life. It’s no more bothersome than the rear-view window in my windshield. 
    It makes the usable space of the iPhone less. And awkward to work with. It is a benefit to NO ONE and an obstacle for every single developer in the world. There is nothing good about it. Only bad. 

    You can pretend that it doesn't bother you as a user, but thats just delusion. It would be better if it were not there, and it will be better when it is not there anymore. Unfortunately we'll still be dealing with it for a decade as these few generations of devices with notches fade into obsolescence.
    LOL You're delusional to claim that usable space is less than having a chin and forehead. Having the Status Bar items in the "ears' clearly allows for more relevant content to be displayed in the given footprint of the device. It's because of the new design that an extra row of icons were possible without having to increase the height of the device,
    You don't need a chin and forehead. The iPad Pro accomplishes the design just fine with a modest bezel. iPhone could have a modest bezel as well, but they went with this disaster instead. It hasn't become normal by any means. It is still as bad as it was day 1, and Apple is still literally trying to break laws of physics and optics just to get rid of it.
  • Reply 17 of 28
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,269member
    lkrupp said:
    All of this to get around having a little bit of bezel. Really, really stupid. lkrupp said:
    But, but, but...   What then will the NotcHeads have to complain about?

    The notch keeps them busy and out of trouble.

    #KeepTheNotch!
    In the real world no one cares
    I wouldn't go that far. Every single developer cares. The notch is the stupidest thing to ever come to the concept of the computer display. And only arrogant Apple could get away with it.
    Did you forget your sarcasm tag!? It’s absolutely not a big deal. It has zero negative affect in my life. It’s no more bothersome than the rear-view window in my windshield. 
    It makes the usable space of the iPhone less. And awkward to work with. It is a benefit to NO ONE and an obstacle for every single developer in the world. There is nothing good about it. Only bad. 

    You can pretend that it doesn't bother you as a user, but thats just delusion. It would be better if it were not there, and it will be better when it is not there anymore. Unfortunately we'll still be dealing with it for a decade as these few generations of devices with notches fade into obsolescence.

    That’s sick logic. Someone who disagrees with your opinion is delusional? "Every single developer” hates the notch? You sound like the proverbial Android weirdo who claims only stupid people buy Apple products. Get a grip, man.
    I don't engage in this internet opinion facade, where everyone pretends they have an equally valid opinion. They don't. I speak with authority, on the things I'm qualified to speak about, and don't really care if you want to "disagree". There isn't anything to disagree with. Developers hate the notch, and are counting the days until it is gone. It adds nothing. And only detracts. This isn't an opinion. And it wasn't the first time.
    If, by "authority" you mean you speak as a developer and you believe that all developers share your view point, that is a knowledgeable view but from a single, narrow perspective.  Perhaps, if that is an accurate assessment of your view, perhaps you should be more open to the view that others have?
    netmageentropysllamatmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 28
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 187member

    Metriacanthosaurus said:
    I don't engage in this internet opinion facade, where everyone pretends they have an equally valid opinion.
    Except when, apparently, you do engage.
    Metriacanthosaurus said:
    There isn't anything to disagree with. Developers hate the notch, and are counting the days until it is gone. It adds nothing. And only detracts. This isn't an opinion.
    I'm a 40-year-plus Apple/Macintosh/iOS developer and I don't hate the notch. As such, your categorical conclusion that all developers, as a cohesive group, "hate" the notch is incorrect. The fact that you may hate the notch is your prerogative. And nothing more than your opinion on the subject.

    Further, I agree with Soli that in most use cases the notch increases useable content area. Without it, the content area would be further reduced by the additional space taken up by the increased height of the status bar.

    The notch is a temporary tradeoff, given the constraints of current technology and the desire to maximize useable screen real estate.

    Give it a few years, and it will be gone, and you'll be forced to find something else all "developers" hate.
    netmagebonobobGeorgeBMacfastasleepradarthekatStrangeDaysllamatmaywatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 19 of 28
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 187member
    You don't need a chin and forehead. The iPad Pro accomplishes the design just fine with a modest bezel. iPhone could have a modest bezel as well, but they went with this disaster instead. It hasn't become normal by any means. It is still as bad as it was day 1, and Apple is still literally trying to break laws of physics and optics just to get rid of it.
    You may not have noticed, but the "modest" bezel on the iPad Pro is the height of the bezel AND the notch on the iPhone. Run the same bezel with all the way around the iPhone and you  dramatically reduce content area. Run it just along the top (forehead) and you still reduce useable content area.

    And you also may not have noticed, but it's not just Apple that's trying to break laws of physics and optics just to get rid of it. Other phones have notches, cutouts, holes, and are otherwise still trying to figure out how to make sensors that work through the screen.
    SolibonobobGeorgeBMacStrangeDayswatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 20 of 28
    Eagerly awaiting the 2020 iPhone.
Sign In or Register to comment.