Apple readying rear-facing 3D sensor for next iPhone

Apple is working on new 3D sensor system for 2019 iPhone

Apple is working on new 3D sensor system for 2019 iPhone

Indeed a recent report suggested that Apple wants the necessary technology ready by 2019 so it can ship the headset the following year.

Bloomberg, quoting people familiar with the plan, wrote that Apple is designing a rear-facing 3-D sensor system for its next-generation iPhone due to be released in 2019.

This combo would provide Apple's iPhones with pretty beefy 3D tech on both the front and back of the phone, and could help Apple's attempts to make augmented reality go mainstream. Instead of projecting up to 30,000 infrared dots in order to gauge distance, the new rear 3D might shoot out lasers and then calculate distance based on how long it takes for the light to bounce off objects before returning to the sensor.

You may recall that the iPhone X has a TrueDepth 3D camera system up front. This could change in 2019 with the appearance of a special sensor that uses a time-of-flight approach to constructing 3D images. The TrueDepth system is an essential part of the iPhone X that allows Apple's Face ID facial recognition technology to work. By shooting out enough lasers, it would be possible to accurately map a room or detect various objects in three dimensions. With this planned 3D sensor, Apple could solve those issues.

The "time-of-flight" technology is manufactured by various companies including Infineon Technologies AG, Sony Corp., STMicroelectronics NV and Panasonic Corp. and Apple is said to be in talks with the suppliers to bring the technology to the iPhone 2019. Current AR apps for the iOS can place virtual objects in space relative to flat surfaces, but they could not, for example, place the virtual objects behind a real-world item.

Apple is said to be still in the early stages of developing the new 3D sensor system and it might not even be used for the final version of the 2019 iPhone, the sources said. Apple has not provided any statement regarding this case.

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