Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Monday, June 3, 2019!
Heads up! We drafted up the first DGiT Monthly over the past week, and want to share it with you for your thoughts and feedback. Let me know what you think and if you’d like to receive this at the end of each month – and if you’d like Adam to whip up a podcast for it as well! Just hit reply!
1. The under-display selfie camera is real
(First clip on the table via Oppo, second with the two phones via Xiaomi)
An “invisible” front-facing camera changes everything, again:
- Forget notches, holes, pop-ups, sliders, and shark fins, we’ve seen the future of smartphones, laptops, and new display.
- It’s a camera embedded under the display delivering a full screen with no compromises.
- The technology has been worked on for some time, as this Samsung patent revealed back in early 2018.
- First Oppo released a short video showing a prototype-looking device with a working camera embedded under the display.
- Xiaomi, never one to let others get ahead, quickly released a video showing its own Mi 9 smartphone with a working under display selfie camera.
- The Xiaomi video definitely wins, showing where the camera hides while the screen is off, and how it works with the screen on, and in comparison to the current Mi 9 device.
- It looks great, a really interesting way of hiding a camera in an unexpected place, as the videos show.
How it might work:
- We’ve seen similar tech in in-display fingerprint sensors. These use optical technology to essentially take photos of fingerprints from within the display of the camera itself – just one style of fingerprint scanning technology.
- While we don’t know all the fine details yet, it’s likely that the camera sits behind an OLED display panel in order to capture light and allow the display to work as normal without needing a hole punched through most of the layers of the display.
- That might mean LCD panels won’t work with these cameras, given that LCDs require a dedicated backlight to provide illumination – hence the holepunch approach to selfie cameras that we saw dominate late 2018 and early 2019 smartphones.
- Those included the likes of the Honor View 20, while the OLED Samsung Galaxy S10 series also had a holepunch.
- The technology should work in all kinds of displays, such as laptops, smart home devices, and many many more.
- There’s a lot of unknowns: we don’t know how big the image sensor can be, how the lenses work, if both photos and video will work in the same way, and if there’s much of a difference in selfie quality.
- It’s very likely there are some trade-offs in the quality of the selfie snaps, given the light off the OLED panel, and small interference from the grid of pixels sitting in front of the lens.
- Will anyone raise privacy fears? There are certainly some questions that arise from having hidden cameras embedded into the display.
- When will we see this in a smartphone we can buy? We’ve seen Oppo previously reveal new camera technology, that took more than two years to make it onto a device you can buy.
- Xiaomi also released multiple videos of its folding phone, and we don’t know much about it yet.
Will we see a phone with an under display before 2020?
- I’m going to wager on yes, but you know me, always an optimist. (And an admission – my last bet was a loss, when I said we’d get a 5G phone in 2018.)
2. Asus Zenfone 6 review: An absolute steal, although the LCD is a touch disappointing (Android Authority).
3. Apple’s WWDC 2019 starts today from San Jose. Here’s what to expect – starting with a keynote at 1pm EDT, 10am PDT (AA).
4. And just so you’re ready to mourn, or celebrate, among the new software developments and changes is that Apple is expected to kill off iTunes (The Verge). Also, here are five questions Apple should answer at WWDC 2019 (Fortune).
5. Google Cloud went down for about four hours and much of the internet suffered, from Gmail to YouTube to Snapchat. A colleague said one of his kids couldn’t do her homework because Google Classroom was down – a better excuse than the dog ate my homework? (AA).
6. Also, Justice Department eyeing antitrust case against Google (AA).
7. Samsung announces new 13-inch and 15-inch Notebook 7 aka “Samsung Book Pros” (or at least their identical twins) (The Verge).
8. Bing’s not the laughingstock of technology anymore (Bloomberg).
9. The unlikely origins of USB, the port that changed everything (Fast Company).
10. Password expiration is dead, long live your passwords (TechCrunch).
11. The Ocean Cleanup folks say they’ve rejigged their system after studying initial problems, new modifications to roll out with System 001/B in June (The Ocean Cleanup Project).
12. Watch the oldest surviving film of a total solar eclipse (Science News).
DGiT Daily: Your Tech Resource
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