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Apple’s next year iPhones to feature improved Face ID camera system: Analyst

Apple iPhone 2019 will use a ‘flood illuminator’ sensor to improve the Face ID user experience.

tech Updated: Nov 05, 2018 12:16 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Apple,Apple iPhone 2019,Face ID
Apple will introduce a new 3D camera, dubbed as Time of Flight, on the future iPad models.(Getty Images)

Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims Apple’s iPhone 2019 lineup will have a new flood illuminator that will improve the efficiency of Face ID in lowlight.

“We believe that Apple will raise the output power of the flood illuminator VCSEL to lower the impacts from invisible lights of environment in order to improve the Face ID user experience. The higher power VCSEL with higher ASP needs increased requirements of design and production, increased materials for array design, and longer testing times. Therefore, the VCSEL supply chain can add higher value,” Kuo noted.

The analyst also predicted that Apple will introduce a new 3D camera, dubbed as Time of Flight, on the future iPad models. The feature may also be extended to iPhones, but in 2020.

The 3D camera will allow iPads to shoot 3D models and even support editing through Apple Pencil stylus. The feature is aimed at enhancing Augmented Reality experience on future Apple products.

“We give a greater than 50% probability that the new iPad in 4Q19/1Q20 may adopt ToF (our previous forecast that the 2H19 new iPhone will not adopt ToF remains unchanged). We believe that 3D modeling captured by ToF and then edited by an Apple Pencil on an iPad will create an all-new productivity experience for design applications in a totally different manner from computers,” he said.

“We estimate that ToF will likely be adopted by the new iPhone in 2H20 at the latest. The iPhone’s adoption of ToF will create the new AR experience and improve photo quality. We expect that Apple’s ToF design may adopt the higher-than-1,000nm wavelength VCSEL (vs. current Face ID’s 935-945nm) for better system design and user experience,” the analyst added.

Kuo’s prediction is in line with Apple’s recent efforts to improve AR experiences on its devices. The company is already making big investments in creating an ecosystem for AR through a software suite, ARKit.

At this year’s WWDC developer conference, Apple launched ARKit 2 with an objective to bring more interactive and advanced 3D and AR content to its iOS platform. Apple has also introduced augmented-reality file format and standard for developers.

In August this year, Apple acquired Colorado-based Akonia Holographics to boost its AR portfolio. The startup is known for making lenses for AR glasses. The acquisition has already triggered speculation that Apple will join the AR wearable bandwagon sooner than expected.

First Published: Nov 05, 2018 12:15 IST