Apple’s 2020 iPhones Will Include New 3D Cameras for AR

Posted on January 30, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, iOS with 6 Comments

Apple’s next-gen iPhones, set to arrive in 2020, will reportedly include new 3D cameras for improved AR. Bloomberg is reporting that the company is working on longer-range 3D cameras for the back of the high-end iPhone devices that are set to arrive in 2020.

The new laser-powered 3D cameras will allow for more detail, allowing the iPhone to create a 3D version of the real world, resulting in better and more immersive AR experiences. The new 3D cameras, which work up to about 15 meters from the device, and improved AR functionalities on the 2020 iPhone will be an early look at Apple’s plans for the company’s much-awaited AR headsets.

The new 3D cameras will also allow for improvements to regular camera-features, allowing for increased depth, perception and placement of virtual objects that could seriously improve the iPhone’s Portrait Mode. The new camera could debut first on the company’s upcoming iPad Pro, expected to arrive sometime in Spring 2020.

For 2019, Apple is introducing a third camera for the high-end iPhone. The additional camera will result in a larger field of view and a wider range of zoom in pictures, and it could also introduce software-powered features like the ability to automatically repair a subject on videos or photos that may have been accidentally cut off. The new phones will also double the length of Live Photos from three seconds to six seconds. It will also include new Face ID sensors.

Apple’s plans for the 2020 iPhones also include 5G support, though the company is likely going to tweak a lot of its plans before anything is finalised. For now, though, our focus should be on the 2019 iPhone — and apart from the new camera upgrades, there won’t be a lot of new things on the new devices. And yes, it will retain a similar design to 2018’s iPhone Xs and the original iPhone X.

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “Apple’s 2020 iPhones Will Include New 3D Cameras for AR”

  1. red.radar

    what’s the benefit of 3D images ? I am still viewing with a 2d screen...

    • sportflier

      In reply to red.radar:

      3D cameras would allow more precise integration of the AR overlay onto the 'real world' (image), per Hassan's description. Another benefit could be that the phone could be used for more accurate 3D scanning, for instance use the phone to scan objects for later use in 3D modeling software (practical application is for creating parts for 3D printing). If Apple plans to use it for this purpose is anyone's guess, but that's a use case I see. I have friends who have practical applications they use 3D printing for and I think would find accurate 3D scanning to be very useful.


  2. glenn8878

    Sounds like a gimmick.

  3. pwrof3

    Didn't Amazon's Fire Phone have a 3D camera? Or at least a 3D display?

    • provision l-3

      In reply to pwrof3:

      I think it had 3-4 cameras on the front that tracked your head to do some sort of 3D on the display not actually take pictures or do some sort of AR. While limited the iPhone 3 camera configuration rumors are limited I don't think that is what they are going for but who knows?

  4. Tony Barrett

    The point of this being? AR is niche at best, and will probably be dead by 2020 anyway. If Apple aren't releasing any AR device for at least another 18 months, they'll be at least 3-4 years behind everyone else, and the world will have moved on. Strange.

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