Will Ap­ple add 3D to iPhone?

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

A re­port out of South Korea last week in­di­cated that Ap­ple Inc. (NAS­DAQ: AAPL) and LG In­notek, a sub­sidiary of LG Elec­tron­ics, are work­ing on de­vel­op­ment of a 3D cam­era for a new iPhone. The cam­era could be avail­able as soon as the sec­ond half of next year.

LG In­notek is the Korean com­pany’s sub­sidiary work­ing on de­vel­op­ing new tech­nol­ogy and cam­era mod­ules for LG’s own mo­bile de­vices. The firm de­vel­oped a dual-lens cam­era mod­ule for LG’s Op­ti­mus 3D smart­phone in 2011, and Ap­ple uses the LG In­notek dual-lens cam­era in its new iPhone 7 Plus.

Last year, Ap­ple paid a re­ported $20 mil­lion for an Is­rael­based com­pany, LinX Com­pu­ta­tional Imag­ing, that makes smart­phone and tablet cam­eras with sen­sors that record depth of field in­for­ma­tion for each pixel in an im­age. When images from the two lenses are com­bined they form a 3D pic­ture.

Com­bin­ing LG In­notek’s dual-lens tech­nol­ogy with LinX’s soft­ware could give iPhone users the abil­ity to con­struct 3D i mages us­ing the over­lay tech­nolo­gies cur­rently avail­able in aug­mented re­al­ity (AR) apps like Poke­mon Go.

Ap­ple CEO Tim Cook al­ready has come down on the side of aug­mented re­al­ity over vir­tual re­al­ity: “There’s vir­tual re­al­ity and there’s aug­mented re­al­ity — both of th­ese are in­cred­i­bly in­ter­est­ing. … But my own view is that aug­mented re­al­ity is the larger of the two, prob­a­bly by far.”

The wild, if rel­a­tively short-lived, pop­u­lar­ity of Poke­mon Go may be a sign that Cook is onto some­thing. Essen­tially, a 3D cam­era on an iPhone could en­able users to cre­ate their own AR app, com­bin­ing a 3D video with an over­lay of, say, a photo of your dog, giv­ing a whole new mean­ing to the no­tion of tak­ing the dog for a walk.

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