Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also claims that the 2020 iPhones are equipped with Time of Flight 3D sensors on the back. It concerns two models that will be launched in 2020. Digitimes and Bloomberg previously claimed something similar. A time-of-flight camera system measures the time required for a laser beam or LED to reflect against an object. According to Kuo, all three iPhones are provided with Face ID.
Apple has been using a dual camera in the most expensive models since the iPhone 7 Plus and it is expected that at least two of the 2019 iPhones will get a third camera. Digitimes now looks ahead and predicts a new 3D camera in the 2020 iPhones for better depth recognition.
A time-of-flight VCSEL is similar to the infrared TrueDepth camera system found in iPhones today on the front of the device, which enables Face ID. Adding such a 3D-sensing system to the back camera would enable higher-fidelity 3D photo captures, potentially opening up new augmented reality opportunities.
The so-called time-of-flight VCSEL 3D sensors is comparable to the TrueDepth camera that you can already find on the front of the iPhones. This allows the iPhone to estimate depth, making an advanced 3D scan of your face. The current cameras on the back also recognize depth thanks to the double lenses, but this is limited. The iPhone can now distinguish between a person and the background, making beautiful portrait photos.
A more advanced 3D camera provides a more accurate depth measurement at a greater distance, which results in nicer portrait photos. Apple may also be using this for better-augmented reality applications. Every year Apple improves ARKit, its own platform for developers for creating AR apps. This year, the latest iPhones can also take people into AR images in a realistic way. The 3D cameras may make this possible even more accurately.
Earlier, Bloomberg predicted that the 2020 iPhones would have a 3D camera, so the message from Digitimes is not completely out of the blue. If you want to know more about what is already known about the 2020 iPhones, you can read more in our round-up.