Xiaomi explains how their under-the-screen selfie camera works

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Earlier this week we saw two Chinese firms, Oppo and Xiaomi, seemingly crack the camera notch conundrum that has been plaguing front-facing cameras in recent years, as both debut prototypes where the selfie lens was under-the-screen.

At the time we did not know how the feat was pulled off, but now Xiaomi is providing a bit more insight.

The company’s senior VP, Wand Xiang, decided to post a handful of rendered images to Twitter showcasing the new technology and design that Xiaomi has been working on.

As the slides in the series of tweeted images show, Xiaomi employed a specially designed low-reflective glass with high transmittance over the front facing lens, with said camera housed under the display as is the case with most smartphones. It therefore negates the need for a notch or punch hole to feature on the front of the device.

Xiaomi explains this special glass is capable of going “transparent” when the front facing camera is engaged.

They add that this new design allows for the potential placement of larger sensors up front compared to the limited ones that a screen notch afforded Xiaomi previously.

This is all that the Chinese manufacturer is willing to show off for now, with no word on when they plan to introduce the new technology into a smartphone destined to launch commercially.

As such a competitor like Oppo have the chance to beat them to market, although the company has not explained how their system works at time of writing.

Where the other major smartphone makers like Samsung, Apple and Huawei are in their front-facing camera plans, remains to be seen.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.