Apple reported to be working on laser-powered, 3D-sensing rear camera

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 15, 2017

The new system will perform 3D mapping by releasing lasers on objects and then calculating the time for the lasers to bounce back. Indeed a recent report suggested that Apple wants the necessary technology ready by 2019 so it can ship the headset the following year.

Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that there will be three 2018 iPhone models, all of which will look like the bezel-less iPhone X.

Apple has revealed plans on incorporating a rear-facing 3D sensor system for 2019 iPhones, according to a report in Bloomberg.

Apple is reportedly already working on a new 3D sensor for the 2019 iPhone.

However, according to Bloomberg, the rear-facing 3D sensors would function a bit differently than the 3D tech found in the iPhone X's notch. The 3D sensors help in creating a three-dimensional map of the user's face, which is why hackers have to go through a lot of hoops to try to trick Face ID security.

While the TrueDepth system takes advantage of a structured-light technique which projects dots onto a user's face and measures the distortion to make a 3D representation, the future one supposedly calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off objects and utilizes that for some 3D magic. This could change in 2019 with the appearance of a special sensor that uses a time-of-flight approach to constructing 3D images.

What Are The Laser-Based 3D Sensors For?

The current rear-facing cameras of iPhones enable augmented reality apps, but are limited as they are not able to process non-flat surfaces. Sources say that Apple has already begun looking for possible suppliers for the new 3D sensor, including Infineon Technologies AG, Sony Corp., STMicroelectronics NV and Panasonic Corp.

This will take the firm closer to making the smartphone into a leading augmented reality (AR) device, people familiar with the matter said to Bloomberg. Apple has not provided any statement regarding this case.

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