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Samsung patent reveals design for a transparent display camera

A patent filing, registered earlier in the month, sheds some light on a new transparent display camera design that Samsung has been working on.
March 19, 2014
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Samsung has been putting some additional effort into its camera technology recently, having announced its new ISOCELL technology for the Galaxy S5, followed by a 20 Megapixel sensor in the company’s new hybrid Galaxy S5 Zoom device. Another Samsung patent filing, registered earlier in the month, sheds some light on yet another new camera technology that the smartphone giant has been working on – transparent displays.

According to the patent information, the transparent display will allow the person taking the photo, as well as any potential subjects, to see directly through the display, which can be used for framing shots. It’s quite likely that the aim is to place some of the camera’s shooting options on the display, which could also conceivably have touchscreen functionality. It would be interesting to know what this type of display means for digital or optical zoom functions on the device, but no information about how the screen would work is given in the patent.

The device’s body resembles that of a compact camera, and the size of the image sensor in the diagram suggests that this is the sort of product that Samsung was targeting. The camera would also feature a power and shot button on the top, as well as a flash. No dimensions for the device are listed, neither is there any mention of whether Samsung had any plans to run Android on such a camera.


Samsung’s tangent into camera based products, like the Galaxy Zoom, is most likely an attempt to diversify away from the saturating high end smartphone market. However, the digital camera market isn’t faring so well either, as it is faced with the increasing quality of smartphone cameras, at least at the general consumer end of the market. So far, Samsung hasn’t been able to convince photography enthusiasts that its products are worth investing in, and I’m not convinced that new ideas like this would really help Samsung capture any more of the market.

Do you see any merit to Samsung’s transparent display camera idea, or should the design remain on paper?