Apple’s 2019 iPhones may be equipped with a total of three rear-mounted camera lenses, in order to give them the edge in augmented reality performance, a new report has claimed.
The report, which comes from ETNews, claims that local company JSCK might be tasked with producing the additional camera, which would focus solely on sensing a 3D space in order to place believable virtual objects in them.
So it’s not technically a third camera in the traditional sense, but if JSCK’s prototypes are successful then it would go into production in Q2 2019.
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Apple sticks to its AR guns
While competitors such as Samsung and Google have delved into the mobile VR space, Apple has always had more interest in AR. Ever since it first expressed an interest there have been rumours of Apple producing a pair of dedicated augmented reality glasses, but so far it’s kept the technology resolutely focused on its phones.
That said, we’re yet to see a ‘killer app’ for AR. Apple demoed a pretty impressive piece of tech at WWDC 2018 that saw it use the second version of its ARKit software to virtually measure a real-world object, but we won’t get our hands on the finished software until iOS 12 gets a full release.
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Slightly undermining Apple’s efforts is the fact that one of the biggest augmented reality apps of all time, Pokémon GO, didn’t initially use ARKit (Niantic built its own software to get it working). Then, by the time it added ARKit support in an update, everyone had realised it was far more effective to turn AR off when playing the game.
But the idea of adding more sensors to improve augmented reality is intriguing. Will Apple keep its additional sensors to the more expensive ‘Plus’ versions of its devices, or will every phone soon be a three-sensor device? We’ll have to wait until 2019 to find out.
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