iPhone camera may get a 3D upgrade

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Apple digital viewfinder patent
Apple's dual lens camera could be just the beginning!
Photo: Apple

Everyone might be talking about OLED displays, wireless charging and a new glass enclosure as the big selling points of Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 8, but a new report suggests the camera might be in for a major upgrade as well.

According to a report citing folks in the supply chain, Apple is investigating the possibility of a camera module boasting a 3D array, allowing for possible 3D depth mapping.

Apple is said to be speaking with LG Innotek about sourcing the necessary modules. LG first experimented with 3D camera modules with its Optimus 3D handset back in 2011.

That handset was supposed to be the first phone to offer glasses-free 3D, but met with mixed critical responses — although some noted that it was impressive how users were able to switch between 2D and 3D modes when taking shots.

Apple has already worked with LG Innotek, which is the sole supplier for the dual-lens cameras featured in the iPhone 7. Dual-lens cameras are an important component of 3D camera setups since they gauge depth in the same way that human eyes do.

The other thing which could potentially help Apple in its 3D camera ambitions is its 2015 acquisition of Israeli camera technology company LinX Computational Imaging, which specializes in creating 3D image mapping.

Recently it was reported that a secret team of Apple employees are working on a project that will turn iPhone cameras everywhere into a portal for augmented reality, which Tim Cook is said to be particularly bullish on as a technology.

Source: Korea Herald