Forward-looking: We’ve already heard talk about in-display selfie cams becoming the next step in smartphone design, but the feature appeared to be far from ready. Oppo and Xiaomi, however, have just shown off working versions of this technology.

Following the rise of divisive notch and hole-punch cutouts, several smartphone companies have been looking at ways of removing anything intrusive from handset screens. This has led to everything from popup cameras such as those in the OnePlus 7 Pro and Galaxy A80, flipable cameras, and, in the case of the Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition, placing a second screen on the rear. But embedding the selfie cam beneath the screen could be the best solution.

Last month brought rumors that Samsung was working on a phone with such a display, which aligns with its ambitions to create an all-screen device, but it isn’t alone in its endeavors. In a Weibo post today, Oppo VP Brian Shen showed off a video (later posted to the company’s official Twitter account) demonstrating its under-display selfie technology. Despite there being no visible camera, the room’s roof appears on the phone’s screen, followed by someone’s finger when it’s waved above the handset.

"At this stage, it's difficult for under-display cameras to match the same results as normal cameras, there's bound to be some loss in optical quality," Shen said, in a follow-up post. "But, no new technology jumps to perfection right away."

Not wanting to be outdone, Chinese rival Xiaomi shared a clip showing its own in-display camera technology, which had been added to a Mi 9 prototype.

There’s no word on when this technology might make it into a commercial handset, but progression looks to be moving along swiftly.

Image credit: testing via Shutterstock