iPhone will get rear-facing 3D sensors in 2019

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iphone x
New sensor will aid Apple's augmented reality push.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

According to a new report, Apple is working on a new rear-mounted “3D sensor” for its 2019 iPhone, which will help further the company’s augmented reality ambitions.

The new system will work using lasers and measuring the amount of time it takes for them to bounce back to create a depth map. This is reportedly different to the TrueDepth sensor system used on the front of the iPhone X, which uses a pattern of 30,000 laser dots to measure depth information for features like Face ID.

The report, from Bloomberg, suggests that the 2019-era iPhones will have both front and rear-facing 3D sensing capabilities, and that Apple has already commenced discussions with prospective suppliers of the new system.

Despite this, the technology is supposedly still in its early stages, and there’s no absolute guarantee that it will make it into the finished iPhone.

3D sensing technology in Apple products

Since making its successful debut with the iPhone X, Apple is reportedly keen to expand the use of 3D sensors to other devices. A recent report suggested that Apple may add Face ID to its next generation iPad Pro in 2018.

Apple is also rumored to be working on a standalone augmented reality headset, which could debut in 2019 and ship in 2020. Alongside 3D sensing technology, the headset will reportedly run an original operating system, according to people familiar with the project.