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Microsoft Patents Four-Color Quad Camera to Match its Windows Logo

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Microsoft has patented a new “logo camera” system for use on its devices. It uses a quad-camera array in the shape of its iconic Windows logo where each individual camera is optimized for a specific color.

Discovered and visualized by LetsGoDigital, the patent was originally filed in October of 2020 and the 40-page documentation was published publicly on May 14, 2021.

According to the documentation, the four cameras are arranged in a square array which would be placed beneath the screen where each camera would pack a color filter corresponding to the Microsoft Logo. The red, green, blue, and yellow cameras would supposedly display the company’s logo or act as notification lights when not being used to capture images.

By default, the Microsoft logo would be displayed, but as soon as the camera is activated it would disappear and the shutter would be opened.

The patent suggests each camera is optimized for its respective color and gives the device “plenty of data to generate impressive images.” The company also states that using a four-camera system instead of one single camera can lead to a thinner device overall. Using four cameras to do a job normally reserved for one “normal” camera may be a bit of an overkill though since the system will rely heavily on the software and processing power of the related devices to stitch the data from the four cameras together into one single image.

The four individual cameras would likely mean better low light performance, but also have the disadvantage of introducing more noise as the color conversion is apparently particularly sensitive to this drawback.

“The quad front camera is placed in a 2×2 array. By opting for multiple camera sensors, thinner camera modules can also be used, allowing the device to retain its slim form factor,” LetsGoDigital explains. “To achieve a high camera resolution, the pixel density of the screen is increased. Each sensor and lens is configured to be optimized for particular colors.”

Since this is just a patent document find, there is no information about the inherent quality issues of using an under-display camera, but the patent doesn’t rule out the use of the array on the rear of the device.

As illustrated below, the concept is not just reserved for use in smartphones and could potentially be used on future Microsoft tablets, laptops, and desktop displays as an under-display camera system. It is unclear how much this kind of technology would cost to the end consumer as under-display camera technology is still in its early stages.

Since this is just an initial patent finding, (initially filed in 2019), it is not clear when this technology will make it to market, or even if the company is actively pursuing it. In search of the perfect, uninterrupted main display, multiple companies are looking at different ways to get there. Xiaomi recently patented an under-display solution and Google is also working on a solution to get rid of the hole-punch or notch found on just about every modern smartphone.


Image credits: Renders courtesy LetsGoDigital and used with permission.

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