Time-of-Flight: New camera tech on upcoming Apple iPhones
The new technology is expected to improve 3D mapping and image quality on the iPhones.
Apple is planning to launch three iPhones of different sizes in 2020. Leaks related to the upcoming iPhones suggest that the new iPhone will come with a new camera technology called time-of-flight (ToF) camera lenses. This new technology is expected to come only in two of the devices launched by Apple
What is time-of-flight?
As the name suggests, the new camera technology is capable of measuring time taken by a laser or LED to bounce off surrounding obstructions. This obstruction can be a wall, a person, a table, or anything. Calculating the time of flight will help make an accurate 3D image of the surroundings. This will help Apple in taking its Augmented Reality (AR) features to the next level.
The information related to the technology was shared with MacRumors by Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo. He presented notes that contained this information to the investors recently. He also mentioned that Apple and Huawei are going to be the "most aggressive brand vendors" supporting 5G and ToF in 2020.
How is it different from the current 3D camera?
The current 3D camera on iPhone uses infrared rays and a dot projector to create a 3D image and unlock the smartphone. The ToF technology uses laser light which is expected to provide more depth perception and advanced depth information. This results in better placement of virtual objects and improved images.
But, implementing a ToF technology will require a 5G connection speed and all the iPhones to be launched are expected to be 5G enabled. Other features that are expected on the iPhone are a three-camera setup, an under-display fingerprint, and OLED displays.