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Apple iPhone 2019 Models Will Not Have 3-D Sensing ToF Tech on Rear Cameras: Kuo

It is unlikely that rear cameras on 2019 iPhones will include time-of-flight (ToF) depth sensing system or 3D sensing capabilities, as per Kuo.

Apple has launched its iPhone models for this year, which include the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. Now, rumours surrounding the company’s upcoming 2019 iPhone models have started to surface online. The latest comes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (MacRumors), who believes it is unlikely that rear camera on 2019 iPhones will include time-of-flight (ToF) depth sensing system or 3D sensing capabilities.

To recall, Bloomberg first reported in November last year that Apple is working on a rear-facing 3D-sensor system for the iPhone in 2019. For those who are unaware, the ToF system is different from the TrueDepth sensor system that the company first introduced for the front camera on iPhone X. The latter takes advantage of structured-light technique to project a pattern of 30,000 laser dots onto a user’s face. It essentially measures the distortion to generate an accurate 3-D image for authentication.

The ToF system calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off surrounding objects to create a 3-D picture of the environment. As per the Bloomberg report, Apple will keep both ToF and TrueDepth camera systems on its upcoming iPhone models for 3-D sensing capabilities on both the front and rear cameras.

However, Kuo in its note to investors has said that ToF technology for rear cameras will not be used on the 2019 iPhone models for two reasons. For the “revolutionary AR experience” that Apple wants to create for its users, the depth and distance information will provided by ToF currently will not be good enough. Plus, Apple’s Augmented Reality (AR) system will require 5G connectivity, AR glasses as well as a more powerful Apple Map database.

Kuo believes that the current dual camera system on iPhone models are powerful enough to capture good distance and depth information. So, ToF technology would do little to improve the iPhone’s camera capabilities. “We believe that iPhone’s dual-camera can simulate and offer enough distance/depth information necessary for photo-taking; it is therefore unnecessary for the 2H19 new iPhone models to be equipped with a rear-side ToF,” reads Kuo’s note (via MacRumors).

The analyst, in a previous note, said that Apple has no plans to add an in-display fingerprint scanner in the future iPhone lineup, though the company will continue with FaceID on all its devices. According to Kuo, FaceID is serving well for Apple and thus the reason why the company does not intend to launch an iPhone with an in-display fingerprint tech anytime soon. – Indian Express

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