March 30, 2023

Mobile devices and laptops come with multiple sensors under their surface that help in enhancing the user experience. Smartphone users are familiar with the auto-brightness feature that is primarily used on mobile devices. It is a feature that is available on both iOS and Android platforms. However, this feature is also being added to the latest laptops, Macbooks and Chromebooks. Here, we will discuss how the auto-brightness feature works.
What is the auto-brightness feature??
The auto-brightness feature automatically adjusts the brightness of the display according to its surroundings. Most smartphones and laptops come with LCD or OLED displays. Both these types of screens may work differently, but their actual function is reflecting the light into your eyes through the display.
A bright display is ideal while you are outside in the sun, but it is better to have a dimmer screen in low light conditions. The peak brightness of most displays can be harsh on your eyes in darker environments, so manufacturers have included the essential brightness controls. So, the auto-brightness feature saves you from the tedious job of manually adjusting the brightness yourself multiple times throughout the day.
How does the feature work?
As mentioned earlier, our phones and laptops come with several sensors beneath their surfaces. Some of the sensors that are present in smartphones include proximity sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, motion sensors, ambient light sensors and others. The one that is behind the auto-brightness feature is the ambient light sensor.
The ambient light sensor is a type of photodetector (it works almost like a camera) that can measure the amount of ambient light in lux that is around the device. The light sensor calculates the ambient light the same way a photo does.
This sensor adjusts the display’s brightness according to the amount of light that is present around you. It can understand when you’re outside under direct sunlight and when you’re laying in bed with the lights off. The ambient light sensor is usually found on the front of the device somewhere in the bezel.
How has the feature evolved over the years?
Few Pixel phones and some Samsung devices feature “Adaptive Brightness” which brings AI into the fold. It supposedly learns how you adjust your display brightness manually and does the same for you. Samsung says, “it helps your phone to learn your preferred screen brightness in different lighting.”
Apple’s “True Tone” feature uses more sensors to not only adjust the brightness but also tries to adjust the colour temperature to match the user’s surroundings.

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