Apple, which has seen a declining demand curve for its latest iPhones, is reportedly planning to attract the audience by offering improved portrait photography, industry-best biometric authentication, and more immersive AR content with the next generation flagships.
And to achieve all of this, the Cupertino giant is working with Sony to implement 3D cameras on the upcoming iPhones.
Here's more on this development.
Firstly, understanding Sony's 3D cameras
Sony's 3D cameras are based on 'Time of Flight' (ToF) technology which is used to accurately map objects in 3D till upto 5 meters.
The camera emits invisible laser beams and measures the "flight" or time taken by these beams to bounce back after hitting an object.
Now, this time detail and image data are synced to create a 3D model of the object.
Use case #1
How Apple plans to use 3D cameras: Better portrait photography
Using these cameras, Apple will accurately map objects in 3D and bring focus to every part of the picture.
The company will use this data to improve image processing and offer high-class portrait photography - something the present day iPhones can offer but using 2D optics.
Hence, your future Portraits will have non-blurred ear edges and smoothened hair strands.
Use case #2
Improved biometric authentication: Shrinking the notch
Currently, iPhone X and later models house an Infrared camera, Flood illuminator, and Dot projector to map your face in 3D.
However, with a dedicated 3D camera, future iPhones would offer the same reliability and security but with fewer sensors.
Hence, your next-gen iPhone could have a narrower cutout or in-screen camera design for this sensor to offer a notch-free bezel-less design.
Use case #3
Immersive AR gaming: 3D experience in 2D world
Currently, Apple's ARKit serves as one of the best platforms for developing AR content.
However, with a dedicated long range 3D camera, developers can potentially use real 3D data of spaces such as rooms, tables, chairs etc to create spell-bounding content.
Moreover, users can involve themselves to become objects for immersive AR and VR experiences.
Imagine being Spider-Man and shooting cobwebs. Fascinating?
You could see some of these features in 2019 iPhones
Given Apple is working with Sony to implement 3D cameras in its next batch of iPhones, we can expect Apple XI or whatever it may be called, to offer some top-of-the-line features.
According to Satoshi Yoshihara, Head of Sony's sensor division, the company will have its 3D cameras ready in 2019 with mass production set to begin in "late summer to meet demand".