A screen that’s also a camera? Coming soon to a mobile phone near you

We often hear about cameras with more megapixels and bigger sensor sizes, but what if the camera in your mobile phone was also your screen? That may actually be coming soon, with a new technology concept on the way.

Developed by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, the “bi-directional OLED” display is just that: an OLED screen merged with a camera sensor. Capable of seeing and capturing at the same time, it’s best to think of this as a digital mirror.

It’s not the first innovation by the Fraunhofer Institute, either. In 1989, Fraunhofer developed the MP3 format, a compressed audio format that has become one of the most widely used in the world.

At the moment, the bi-directional OLED technology is small: at 1.5cm, it’s certainly too small to be used in a mobile phone or a camera. But give it enough time and we could find it used in mobile phones for video conferencing purposes or personal eyewear with a built-in heads up display.