Apple’s next-gen iPhone to feature rear-facing 3D laser for augmented reality and autofocus

“A source with knowledge of the situation tells Fast Company Apple is working hard to add a rear-facing 3D laser system to the back of one of the new iPhones to be announced this fall,” Mark Sullivan reports for Fast Company. “The new sensor system will enable better depth detection for augmented reality apps, and a more accurate type of autofocus for photography, the source tells me.”

“The source said the VSCEL laser system is probably intended for the 10th anniversary iPhone (which may be called the iPhone 8 or the iPhone Pro or, hopefully, the iPhone X),” Sullivan reports. “Whether the sensor will be included in that phone, or a 2018 iPhone, depends on the progress the Apple engineers make in integrating the laser system into the phone, our source says.”

“KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (who is usually accurate on iPhone plans) believes the iPhone 8 front-facing camera will use a laser for 3D selfie effects and to recognize the user’s face for authentication purposes,” Sullivan reports. “This may be true, but the rear of the phone is where the real action is for 3D lasers. The lasers are a huge part of Apple’s AR story. Right now, ARKit apps rely only on the single iPhone camera to picture and measure the real world into which digital content is placed. While the resulting experience is already surprisingly good, the addition of a 3D laser system on the back of the phone would dramatically improve the depth measurement part, and would make the AR even more lifelike.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, we’ll get it sooner than later! We want our iPhone8/X/Pro/Edition units to be packed to the gills with cutting-edge tech!

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  1. As the old saying goes, “Look into the laser with your remaining, good eye!”

    This seems more like someone stringing together a bunch of buzz words that are often attention catching (“3D”, “laser”, “augmented reality”, and “autofocus”) to get people’s attention. This may have absolutely zero basis in reality.

    1. Hit submit too soon.

      Things are getting bloody stupid now. Seems these “sources” are making up more crazy things every day.

      How long before a “credible source” says the iphone 8 will be made of Adamantium, transform into an Apple driverless car and get 20,000 miles from a single gram of Plutonium.

  2. I saw an app that tells the bike shop how much to turn the bike shoe cleats. So silly.

    I want a AR app that can tell me when to cut my toe nails.

    At this rate, humanity will need a medical app to tell it when to pee.

  3. Rumor vapor…
    But if these plans are true, this is Apple getting serious about iOS devices perceiving our 3D world. Excellent.

    And yet I somehow doubt this is going to show up in 2017. See you in another year, Apple.

    1. Oh and yeah. There’s that pesky problem of laser light being so bright that it blinds or burns out the human retina. Gotta be careful about that. For the short range required for Apple’s purposes, I suspect low power lasers will be adequate.

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