A new patent filed by Samsung shows a smartphone with three front-facing sensors in a hole-punch display.
Assuming that at least two of the sensors are cameras, this raises some interesting speculation as to what purpose the third sensor on the front could mean for Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S line of smartphones.
Launched earlier this year, the Galaxy S10 featured two front facing sensors in a unique hole punch design. This was made possible in part by Samsung’s decision to get rid of iris scanning as a biometric security feature for its latest phones. With the iris sensors no longer needed on the front of the phone Samsung was able to adopt the two sensor hole-punch design we see today.
Though the iris recognition tech was fairly well received, the launch of Apple’s Face ID facial recognition system in 2017’s iPhoneX set the industry standard for commercial biometric security. Samsung chose to not include iris scanners in last year’s Galaxy S10 and Note10 models, instead opting for an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner embedded into the screen.
With competitors like Xiaomi, Huawei, LG and Google all either including some form of facial biometric security in already released and upcoming smartphones, Samsung may be feeling the pressure to come out with their own 3D take on the technology. The third sensor seen in the Samsung patent could hint at just that for Samsung’s next line of smartphones.
It’s also possible the third sensor could be another front facing selfie camera, similar to the wide angle selfie camera found on Google’s Pixel3.
Of course, it should be noted that as with any patent there is a chance this one may never actually find its way into a consumer product.