Report: Apple's iPhone 8 Will Have Rear-Facing 3D Laser For AR

The device is expected to have a faster and more accurate autofocus as well.


IPhone 8's is supposedly right around the corner, although Apple's high-end devices may be delayed a bit because of all the bells and whistles such as 3D technology. And lo and behold, that tech may be a rear-facing 3D laser system designed to help implement planned augmented reality.

The lasers will aid in better depth detection for AR apps, and an improved autofocus for taking pictures, a source familiar with the unit's design told Fast Company. The source did not specify whether the technology would be in the iPhone 8 or the next iteration, saying it all depends on how quickly Apple's engineers can get the compact system properly integrated into the new phones.

This new system's ability to get a better handle on depth will become an important part of Apple's AR initiative, which Apple unveiled with the announcement of its new ARKit in June. Getting the lasers into the new phone will be play a huge part in the success of the AR plan going forward, as right now, existing phones rely only on a single camera to try to get proper measurements 

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that the camera system will implement PrimeSense tech that Apple acquired back in 2013. That tech will use algorithms pulling information from from a front camera modules and two infrared modules, one to send and one to receive. This could be used in apps looking for better facial recognition. It is also speculated that Apple wants to move away from its Touch ID system and move into facial recognition for better security.

All of these goodies could be part of the new iPhone 8, which is set to launch on the 10th anniversary of Apple's lynchpin device. It still isn't clear if it will indeed be called iPhone 8. We could get a name that plays off the Roman numeral to create an iPhone X. And don't expect the new phones to cost any less. All this new technology could have them costing even more than the current iPhone 7s.

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