“Apple Inc. plans to launch iPhones with a more-powerful 3-D camera as soon as next year, stepping up the company’s push into augmented reality, according to people familiar with the plans,” Mark Gurman and Debby Wu report for Bloomberg. “The rear-facing, longer-range 3-D camera is designed to scan the environment to create three-dimensional reconstructions of the real world. It will work up to about 15 feet from the device, the people said. That’s in contrast with the current iPhone 3-D camera system, which points toward users and operates at distances of 25 to 50 centimeters to power Apple’s Face ID facial-recognition feature.”

“Apple’s new system uses a laser scanner, rather than the existing dot-projection technology,” Gurman and Wu report. “That’s just one of many new features — including a third, more advanced camera, enhanced photo-capture tools and a more powerful chip — that Apple plans to include in coming generations of iPhones, the people said.”

“The laser-powered 3-D camera would enhance augmented reality on the iPhone, allowing for more accurate depth perception and placement of virtual objects,” Gurman and Wu report. “Apple previously aimed to put the new 3-D camera system on the back of this year’s high-end iPhones, but delayed that, the people familiar also said. Still, the Cupertino, California-based technology giant is doubling down on camera capabilities for its handsets. For 2019, Apple plans successors to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max — code-named D42 and D43 — and an update to the iPhone XR, said the people. The larger of the new high-end iPhones will have three cameras on the back, and other handsets could eventually come with the upgraded system, too, the people said… The laser-powered 3-D camera could debut first on an upgrade to the iPad Pro currently planned for as early as spring 2020, according to one of the people.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple wants to continue laying the foundation for augmented reality ahead of their AR glasses, so developers can hit the ground running.

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