The iPhone 11 could feature a next-generation 3D camera sensor made by Sony, according to a new Bloomberg report.
According to the sources, Apple and other tech giants have already expressed an interest in the sensors, which will power both the front and rear-facing cameras.
The report says Sony is putting the sensors into mass production in the summer in order to meet demand from smartphone manufacturers.
Should Apple be among those customers, the iPhone 11 could benefit from improved Face ID recognition, as well as better depth effects. There could also be an opportunity to create 3D models, which would improve augmented reality gaming.
In an interview, Satoshi Yoshihara, head of Sony’s sensor division, said: “Cameras revolutionized phones, and based on what I’ve seen, I have the same expectation for 3D. The pace will vary by field, but we’re definitely going to see adoption of 3D. I’m certain of it. The most important thing in the coming year will be to get people excited.”
He also said the 3D tech is different from the structured light modules used in devices like Apple’s iPhone X range to create the Face ID system.
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Sony’s sensor is able to create more accurate 3D models with the method called ‘time of flight’. It sends out lasers from the sensor, and times how long they take to bounce back. Yoshihara said it works best at distances of 5 meters. Interestingly, Sony’s 3D solution only requires only one camera on the front and rear.
It isn’t clear which other manufacturers will seek to deploy the Sony 3D camera in 2019 smartphones, but Huawei is reportedly among them. Sony declined to name customers due to confidentiality agreements, but it already has its sensors in Apple, Google and Samsung phones.
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