Microsoft may have solved one big issue with the iPhone X
Microsoft may have developed the technology to fix one of the iPhone X's most complained-about features.
This next generation device turned heads when it was announced because it managed to feature a nearly bezel-free design, but this came at the expense of a 'notch' that breaks up the top of the screen.
It's not a huge problem, but some say that the 'notch' consistently interrupts up the image and detracts from the clarity of the screen.
Apple needs this 'notch' for he iPhone X's Face ID system, which has two sensors designed into the 'notch', hence the size of the feature.
A newly published Microsoft patent, first spotted by MSPowerUser, seems to detail a hybrid imaging sensor that looks set to use an infrared filter, combining a standard camera with an infrared camera.
This means both sensors could use the same node of space – potentially shrinking the size of the controversial 'notch' in future handset designs.
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It's worth remembering that this is a Microsoft patent, so we're honestly pretty unlikely to see Apple use this tech for the inevitably iPhone XI.
Microsoft could benefit, though: the tech could likely end up in new version of Microsoft flagship products: the Surface line of tablets and laptops would benefit from this sort of facial tech, and if Microsoft ever launches a Surface Phone, we could see the tech incorporated into that, too.
Apple could also be working on a version of this tech themselves: Microsoft may have patented this very specific element of design, but now that we know it's possible to combine both cameras into one singular lens, we could see Apple figure out its own version on its next handset.
This also comes after recent news that Samsung may have also found a solution to the design issue that's been bugging some Apple fans since the launch of the iPhone X.
Thanks to new patents from Samsung (originally spotted by LetsGoDigital), the 'notch' problem could be addressed by using a flexible OLED screen with a series of holes allowing the camera, speakers and various other sensors to operate.
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According to the patent, the phone would even allow text to wrap naturally around the holes – the phone would automatically detect the placement of text and break up the text as necessary, so no important information is lost.
Samsung seems to be aware that users are keen to cater the phone display to suit their own needs, and to that end there seem to be plans to allow users the choice of displaying full-screen around the dots, or by shrinking the display to omit the cutouts altogether.
The patents also suggest Samsung is still keen to keep its home button – it hasn't done away with that like the iPhone X has managed to do. It is suggested that the button will perhaps by on-screen, though.
New chipset leaks suggest Samsung is working on features to rival Apple's Animoji and Face ID systems, too, though the company seems to be able to implement these in its design with a smaller notch than the iPhone X.