The 3D sensing capabilities on the iPhone are set to get a big upgrade in 2020, according to a new report.
Apple is supposedly planning to add a laser-based 3D camera system to the 2020 iPhone lineup that will be more powerful than the dot-projection system currently used by the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR for facial recognition.
With the new rear-facing 3D camera, iPhone users will be able to scan their environment to create reconstructions of the real world. The new sensors will work up to 15 feet away from the device, based on Bloomberg‘s sources. Apple’s current 3D camera system used for Face ID only works at distances up to 50 centimeters.
Apple’s Augmented Future
Adding the new laser 3D sensors would give Apple another key tool for augmented reality. It would allow for more accurate depth perception and better placement of virtual objects. Photos could also be captured with more depth thanks to the new tool.
The company is rumored to be working on an augmented reality headset that would overlay digital information on top of the real world. That product could launch as soon as next year. Of course, Apple’s plans could always change so it’s not a sure thing yet.
Apple allegedly hoped to add the 3D laser camera system to the 2019 iPhone lineup but chose to delay it. Sony is in talks with Apple to provide the sensors. The company also provides the camera sensors for the current iPhones. Other new features in the works supposedly include a third camera, enhanced photo-capture tools and a powerful new A-series processor.
Bloomberg‘s report also mentions new iPads on the horizon this spring. Apple is reportedly readying a 10-inch iPad with a Lightning port and faster processor. The iPad mini will also get updated this year. Apple’s recent iOS 12.2 beta appears to confirm that the two new iPads are nearly ready for an unveiling. Last year, Apple introduced a new 9.7-inch iPad in March that comes with Apple Pencil support.