As companies continue the fight for an all-display front by moving cameras and sensors, a company called ams thinks they have a new solution to help. Today, ams introduced an optical sensor that can fit behind an OLED display to detect ambient light and proximity settings.
Why is that important? It allows a manufacturer to skip on having a bezel-situated ambient/proximity sensor, which is the sensor setup you often see next to your front-facing camera for auto brightness adjustments. This chip from ams (TCS3701) is slim at 2.0mm x 2.5mm x 0.5mm, so ams believes it’s small enough to easily fit behind a smartphone’s display.
How does it work? It’s some sort of algorithm game that ams describes in the following way:
Despite the constraint of operating behind an emissive OLED display screen, the TCS3701 senses the addition of the ambient light passing through the display to light emitted by the display’s pixels located just above the sensor. ams has developed unique algorithms which enable accurate detection of ambient light levels without knowledge of the display pixel brightness above the sensor.
Cool, right? This little chip is sampling now, so who knows, maybe you’ll see it in a smartphone before long.