Taiwan’s Digitimes reports Apple’s supply chain partners are working to furnish the tech giant with a new time-of-flight 3D sensor for the 2020 iPhone.
Apple will reportedly integrate the sensor into the iPhone’s rear camera array.
The component in question is said to be a more advanced version of the current iPhone’s front-facing TrueDepth camera system. The iPhone XS and iPad Pro’s TrueDepth camera systems enable some of Apple’s most notable differentiators, including Face ID and Animoji.
Were Apple to add a time-of-flight camera to the back of the iPhone, it’s likely the company would use the sensor for augmented reality (AR) applications. A time-of-flight sensor would also enable the iPhone to deliver more realistic portrait mode images since the sensor is able to capture a more accurate 3D map of a person’s face and the surrounding background.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Apple plans to add a new time-of-flight sensor to the iPhone. In a report from earlier this year, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said Apple planned to integrate laser projection technology into the 2020 iPhones, noting that the system would be capable of scanning and interpreting environmental features at a distance of 4.56 metres.