The 2017 iPhone X has only just come out, and everyone is still soaking in the animoji novelty, but rumours about Apple’s 2019 iPhone are already emerging. Bloomberg has come out with a report today that suggests Apple is developing a new “3D sensor” for the rear of the 2019 phone that will be used to improve the company’s developing augmented reality apps and services.
The proposed system would work by firing lasers out of the device and measuring the time it takes for the reflection to get back to it to establish a depth map. Similar depth information can be obtained by using dual cameras, as Apple already does, and through the infrared-based FaceID system that graces the notch on the front of the iPhone X. Google even does it by using dual pixels in its latest Pixel 2 camera, which produce just enough of a parallax effect to get the job done. But Apple’s new system is presumably being developed to produce results that are a lot more precise and robust.