Apple patented a new kind of display that simultaneously takes pictures while showing images.
The clever idea is to insert thousands of microscopic image sensors in-between the liquid crystal display cells in the screen. Each sensor captures its own small image, but software stitches these together to create a single, larger picture.
A large LCD screen filled with image sensors would be ideal for videoconferencing, Apple suggests, as participants would always appear to look straight into the "camera". The technique could also add a camera function to a cellphone or PDA without wasting space, and light from the screen should help illuminate a subject.