Thursday, 21 September, 2017

Apple Really Wants AR on the Next iPhone

Apple to pack iPhone 8 with a rear-facing 3D laser Apple Is Working Hard On An iPhone Rear-Facing 3D Laser For AR And Autofocus: Source - Fast Company
Garry Little | 14 July, 2017, 00:34

This week, a source is claiming that the Galaxy S8 rival smartphone will come with a rear-facing 3D laser system that would allow the device to have better autofocus and enhanced implementation of augmented reality software features.

We speculated in June that Apple's announcement of a new augmented reality development kit (ARKit) telegraphed the addition of new AR iPhone components in the very near future.

The 3D laser tech could go into the premium version of the iPhone 8 or into a model next year, which is more likely considering the higher end phone already faces production delays due to fingerprint sensors and the OLED screen. It all depends on whether Apple engineers can integrate the laser system into the phone in time, Fast Company reports.

VCSEL laser systems calculate the distance the light travels from the laser to the target and back to the sensor, and generate a Time of Flight (TOF) measurement.

The improved autofocus features that a 3D laser system would bring are also intriguing as it would adopt features already available in devices like the Google Pixel. The source suggests that the main issue in this case is integrated the laser system into the iPhone, rather than the system itself.

This adds more to the confusion related to the final elements to be seen on the iPhone 8 rear panel. That device has been dubbed the iPhone 8. The whole thing costs about $2 per phone, our source says.

Essentially, the laser sends out beams of light that bounce off objects and help identify the depth of each object.

The laser system would have big implications for the iPhone camera, too. The camera can then focus on a desired part of the shot in milliseconds.

Current iPhones use something called "focus pixels", which is also known as phase detection. For this advanced feature, the Cupertino giant has reportedly tapped Lumentum, Finisar and II-VI as its suppliers of the needed sensors.

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