The release of Surface Duo means Microsoft is officially back on the move. While surface Duo is appreciated throughout the tech industry, Microsoft still needs to introduce innovations in many ways to deliver a first-class user experience, such as cameras. The good news is that Microsoft did submit a patent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) called “Cameras with Adjustable Filters and Active Lighting”. It is designed with a camera that contains an optical filter, and the filter contains a layer of liquid crystal.
(Instagram via MSPU)
Multiple layers of liquid crystal on this filter allow for mode switching between reflection and light transmission as needed. However, such a design concept can also be used to create infrared cameras.
The camera can contain a portion of a filter for a specific spectrum, such as an infrared (IR) camera that can use an infrared and near-infrared (NIR) band, or a sensor that prevents some of the bands from reaching the camera.
Unfortunately, while the concept sitforged in this patent is interesting, we still don’t know when Microsoft will launch the device (or not at all).