An interesting leak has emerged online this morning that suggests Samsung is about to bring a new type of light notification technology to the rear case of its smartphones.
Android phones often come with a separate notification LED on the front of the handset that alerts users to missed messages and calls. Otherwise, notifications are usually assumed to relate to the display of a mobile device.
However, leaked specs and images that appeared on Dutch mobile tech site Galaxy Club show a new type of notification system for the back of a phone that Samsung is calling 'Smart Glow'.
Smart Glow system expected to appear in the Samsung Galaxy J2 (Image: Galaxy Club)
The system features a luminous ring that runs around the handset's rear camera lens and which lights up to alert users, glowing different colors depending on the function in use.
For example, the ring of light will glow to indicate that the rear camera has detected a face, allowing the user to take a selfie with the superior-quality rear lens.
The Smart Glow technology may also be used to communicate alerts when the handset has been placed face down on a surface, allowing users to choose specific colors to indicate particular notification types. Colors will also show when the battery is running low or when it has reached a full charge.
The website suggests that the notification system will appear in the Samsung Galaxy J2, due to launch in India later this year. The feature has yet to be officially announced by Samsung, so the likelihood of its appearance in the company's flagship phones like the Galaxy Note 7 remains unknown.
The idea that Apple might one day try something similar with a future iPhone is not impossible. The most obvious candidate for the implementation of a rear notification system is the iconic Apple logo that appears on the rear of every iPhone.
The same logo on a MacBook lid glows whenever the laptop is opened, and speculation that Apple planned to use a lighted logo on its phones has existed ever since iPhone 6 leaks began appearing showing a chassis cut-out and the use of an embedded logo.
Those rumors were never realized, although third-party hacks do exist that allow iPhone 6 owners to make the logo on their handsets light up using LEDs.
Early rumors for next year's so-called "iPhone 8" suggest the Cupertino company won't debut a spec-bumped, internally upgraded "iPhone 7s", but a completely overhauled handset with major design changes and new, next-generation features, like wireless charging, a Touch ID-equipped OLED display, and no home button.
At its Worldwide Developer Conference earlier this week, Apple announced a raft of updates to notifications and the way that developers are able to present them to users in iOS 10. No hardware announcements accompanied the conference, however.
Update: One of our forum members has noted that a setting in iOS 9's Accessibility options enables visual notifications on an iPhone using the rear LED flash. To use the setting, open the Settings app, tap General -> Accessibility, and Toggle LED Flash for Alerts to ON.