Apple's next-generation iPhones could pack 3D cameras, a new report from Bloomberg has hinted.
Sony, which is the biggest maker of camera sensors in the world, is mass-producing improved 3D sensors owing to revived interest from several technology giants, including Apple.
It claims these sensors would appear on various smartphones as early as next year.
Here are the details.
First up, what are 3D cameras?
As the name suggests, 3D cameras would make upcoming smartphones capable to capture content in 3D.
The technology failed to evolve years ago, but Satoshi Yoshihara, the head of Sony's sensor division, told Bloomberg it will make a major impact in 2019.
The company is bullish on its next-generation sensors, hoping they will power several smartphone features and increase its earnings.
Sony's 3D sensors would do more than photography
In the interview, Yoshihara claimed their next-generation sensors, integrated with front and rear cameras, would do a lot more than just capturing content in 3D.
They could improve facial recognition and depth sensing or power several augmented reality-based games.
Sony even displayed some custom phones integrated with 3D cameras and how they worked with different apps and games.
Do you know?
Uses demonstrated by Sony
In its 3D camera demonstration, Sony showed an app that used its sensors to detect hand gestures, allowing the user to cast spells in a virtual game. The Japanese giant even demoed depth sensing capabilities to add virtual elements to real-world objects.
Still, many details still remain unclear
Sony's sensor boss confirmed that their 3D sensors will play a major role in next-generation phones, but he didn't provide specific details about production targets or confirmed customers.
This means that the element of doubt still remains and Apple may or may not use 3D sensors to enhance the capabilities of its TrueDepth cameras.
Notably, Sony supplies camera sensors to Alphabet and Samsung.
Even Huawei is working on 3D cameras
It is also worth noting that a recent Bloomberg report, citing sources at Huawei, highlighted that the Chinese giant is also employing Sony's 3D camera sensors for its next-generation smartphones.