So as to gain context, mobile devices, e.g., phones, tablets, laptops, etc., capture information about their surroundings, including sounds, lights, temperature, etc. An important piece of information is the direction of nearby light sources. Currently available ambient light sensors provide illuminance information so that the display can adjust its brightness accordingly. However, there is no directional information provided.
This disclosure describes techniques that use a planar array of ambient light sensors with asymmetric masks to determine the angle of incident light.
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Zhang, Yi; Jung, Seobin; and Chen, Kuan-Lin, "Detecting the direction of ambient light using an array of photodiodes", Technical Disclosure Commons, (January 24, 2019)