This is a guest article by IdeaFarm LLC
A potentially key advantage for microLED displays is the ability to effectively integrate far-field image sensing within the display because of the large “open” pixel area compared to other display technologies. The basic feasibility and advantages of integrating far-field image capture within a microLED display was reported on by IdeaFarm LLC at the recent Displayweek 2021 conference (the major worldwide display technology conference). IdeaFarm proposes to integrate an array of miniature wafer-based camera chips, “microcameras”, on the same substrate as microLEDs as part of the display manufacturing process (see diagram below for an illustration of the concept). Advanced real-time image processing is used to form high-resolution video by combining lower resolution video streams from multiple microcameras.
Because of the recent increased attention to improving the videoconferencing experience and the ongoing drive to eliminate bezels and display cut-outs in mobile phones and other devices, interest in including image capture inside displays is growing rapidly. The number of technical papers presented at Displayweek related to including image capture inside the display grew from essentially zero in 2019 to eleven in 2021. So far, under-screen or under-display cameras have been demonstrated in mobile phones with OLED displays, but only one brand is actually shipping and the tradeoffs in image quality and visibility of the camera zone have been noted.