Steve January 14, 2021
Image credit: Samsung Display (Weibo)

Samsung Display is teasing the possibility of under-display laptop webcams in the near future. The company shared a teaser video on Chinese social media platform Weibo (via The Verge), showcasing the potential of its OLED panels for laptops, including the ability to have a webcam under the display to achieve thinner bezels.

In addition to allowing for smaller bezels without some kind of notch or cutout – with screen-to-body ratios of up to 93% – the OLED panels teased by Samsung bring about a number of advantages. They’re significantly lighter than other panels (130 grams instead of 180 grams), and they’re also half as thick, coming in at just 1mm instead of 2.1mm in Samsung’s own comparison.

The video has been re-uploaded to Twitter by Ice Universe below:

Wow ⊙∀⊙! Samsung Display reveals its under-Display camera technology for the first time, which will be used for OLED notebook screens first

— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) January 14, 2021

For the past few years, we’ve seen the tech industry – particularly smartphones and, to some extent, laptops – try to find new ways to shrink bezels and increase screen real estate as much as possible. While notches and cutouts for cameras became common in smartphones, that hasn’t been the case as much with PCs, possibly because the disruption in the display would be more noticeable there.

Last year, ZTE became the first company to use a front-facing camera underneath the display in a smartphone, though it’s clearly first-generation technology. As more resources are put into the technology, we’ll likely see implementations improve and it might get to the point where it’s actually usable. For now, though, the teaser video doesn’t indicate when we might see any devices make use of this display technology to hide the webcam.

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