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New patent shows new ways to move display notches to the corners

Vishal Kawadkar

If a new patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office comes to life, we might see smaller notches placed in the corners of the phone. Filed by inventor Lothar Pantel and assigned to Inodyn NewMedia GmbH, the patent shows a handset design and highlights numerous ways in which configurations of cameras, LED flash units, and speakers can be placed.

The design makes room for as many as four cameras - split between the front and rear panels. In all cases, the components are located inside the rounded cutouts of various sizes depending on which components placed inside them. The patent further explains a method in which the UI that could be obstructed by the components to be moved within the algorithms for the design itself.

The system will automatically move logos, text, buttons, links, and images around to fit within the space provided. In the simplest implementation of the corner notches, the speaker will be moved to a small space within the top bezel, while a single camera and LED flash will be housed within the left and right corners within an equally minuscule cutout.

In one of the cases, an LED and speaker in the bottom edge also have increased space to make room for the capacitive home and back buttons in the surrounding area of the components. Another configuration shows the cameras placed on the top edge while the bottom bezel contains a keyboard.

Apart from that the patent also shows that it could work with other technologies like Samsung's Edge displays or with conventional flat panels. What's more interesting that it can be used for a smartwatch and a folding smartphone leaving very less for imagination.

While the bigger corner notches wouldn't be attractive from a user's point of view than the current single large notch on the top of the screen, the solution sure has some potential that the OEMs can use in the coming days.

It not only manages to keep the bezel size down but also removes a large obstruction. It brings a lot of new ways that can be introduced in an Android phone and also brings a solution for UI limitations. If this patent comes to life, we could expect an end to the notch problem.

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