For the past three years, remote workers have found themselves in copious virtual meetings every week. In fact, a recent study shows that 37% of people spend between 4 to 12 hours per week in virtual meetings and 65% said that camera-on meetings are the most suitable for building team connections.
In that time however, these users are unable to look their colleagues eye-to-eye, which isn’t suitable for creating connections. This is because laptops, computers and smartphones all have cameras placed (usually) at the top of the device in something called a notch or island. Users are looking at this notch on the screen and then back to the camera and then back to the screen and so on. One of the best ways to build trust in virtual settings is by talking through a camera with direct eye contact so improving the current camera situation is critical. A study from Tampere University in Finland found that direct eye contact between people resulted in greater positive impact as opposed to that of an averted gaze on a video call. The study continues to say that the power of eye contact can be strong enough to overcome the constraints of physical distance.
What is being done about this?
New technology has been developed to address this issue and improve the user experience by placing the camera and its sensors under the screen and in the center of the display, thus creating a true under display camera also known as a UDC. The UDC will be invisible to the user and increase the external screen size as space no longer needs to be allocated for the camera, creating an edge-to-edge experience. Intense research and trial and error have been conducted to ensure that the user’s experience not only doesn’t falter but actually improves by placing cameras behind the glass.
This begins with advanced materials developed through quantum computing. Advanced materials drive the technology value chain, but they also come with a high price tag and a long timeline. More than $300 billion dollars are spent each year on advanced materials development. Everything from the hardware (sensors, batteries, displays), software (web, operating system), system (smartphone, laptop, tablet), to the solutions (SaaS, streaming, security, IoT, social media) all depend on advanced materials.
Quantum computing will greatly assist in the development of advanced materials with more accurate simulations. Simulation results can replace most physical experiments because higher simulation accuracy results in less trial-and-error development time.
The advanced material that was created through quantum computing for the UDCs creates holes in between pixels which allows light to transfer through. When light goes through the pixels, a more user centric image is produced and facial recognition can be incorporated. These culminate to create an improved virtual experience for the user.
The future of virtual meetings
The mass production of such under display cameras has been difficult but will soon completely change the way workers interact virtually. Eye contact on virtual meetings is an essential part of the non-verbal communication between attendees, but the way cameras are placed in devices right now makes achieving eye contact awkward. Users might feel disconnected from their audience now but in the future, one will only have to look at the center of their screen to meet the call recipient eye-to-eye. Many people strive to build relationships in their remote work settings and mature technology such as the UDC will be the next step in elevating these relationships.