A few days ago, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Apple was granted a patent for a method of embedding light sensors directly onto the smartphone’s display. Patent No. 9,466,653 is an indicator, if only as early rumours, that Apple designers will develop a smartphone free of any bezel.
According to the patent, ambient light-sensing systems are usually separate from the device’s display, which makes for an easier manufacturing process, it also means there’s a lot of wasted real estate on the phone. The patent is an indication that Apple are looking to depart from the current model of designing and building smartphones with the implementation of the light sensors directly onto the display layers.
The diagrams show the possible configurations of the newly proposed technology, with light-sensing sensors placed above the touch-sensitive display layer, while the other shows the sensors integrated next to the touch-sensitive layer. The additional upside of the technology, according to Apple, is that it could also be used for a proximity sensor, or sensors of various kinds.
The news comes just a week after Apple was granted another patent, which shows a method of integrating the fingerprint sensor directly into the display. Yet another indication of the bezel-less design. Apple is said to be working on a more advanced iPhone design with a full screen on the face of the device. Now all that’s remaining in the design is a workaround for the ear speaker. Although, there are various ways to circumvent this by repositioning the speaker altogether, perhaps even underneath the display.
So, is this what the iPhone 8 may look like one day?