iPhone 8 may get a 3D-sensing camera
The next iPhone looks set to use a 3D model of your face to unlock – but can Apple make enough units?
Plus, rumors of livestreaming in iOS 11.
Ahead of the predicted September announcement, supply-chain reports indicate that production of the components for a 3D-sensing, front-facing camera system in the new iPhone 8 is ramping up.
3D sensors could be used in enhanced security and augmented reality apps in Apple’s next iPhone. The technology, which includes an infrared transmitting and receiving module, means the iPhone 8’s front-facing camera will be able to find the location and depth of objects placed in front of it.
With potential applications including face and iris recognition, the technology will open up a world of exciting new uses for the iPhone. As well as providing a new way to unlock your smartphone, the technology may benefit augmented reality – to which Apple devoted a lengthy segment of its WWDC keynote in June – by having your face appear as a 3D model in apps and
games. It’s thought the 3D sensors will only be included in the iPhone’s forward-facing camera system, however, probably for cost reasons.
The Korea Herald, usually a fairly reliable source of insider info from Apple’s supply chain, says Apple has started buying and leasing its own manufacturing equipment in a bid to make sure it has enough phone parts to keep up with expected demand for the next-gen iPhone. The Herald says the machinery is responsible for making rigid-flex printed circuit boards ( bit.ly/rfpcbs).
The move to buy the equipment, costing tens of millions of dollars, is apparently part of a bid to help Apple’s remaining suppliers deal with complicated production challenges and schedules.
This talk adds more fuel to the rumor that the iPhone 8 is going to be delayed, or at least available in very limited quantities when it launches this fall. Still, it sounds like a raft of bleeding-edge features will make it worth the wait; in addition to face recognition, the iPhone 8 is said to incorporate a 5.8-inch, edge-to-edge display with a fingerprint reader under it, extra augmented reality features in the camera, and wireless charging.
The last of those features sounds increasingly likely given that a new charging sound has been found in the iOS 11 beta.