Apple Exploring New 3D Dual-Lens Camera Hardware for iPhone 8

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple is working with LG on a new dual camera module capable of 3D photography effects for potential use in its 10th anniversary iPhone, according to a brief report in The Korea Economic Daily.

    The article is short on details, but states that the "LG Innotek" dual-lens camera will likely be used in Apple's new products in the latter half of 2017.

    The article mentions the LinX Imaging company Apple bought last year. In acquiring the Israeli startup, Apple took ownership of LinX's enhanced camera technology, which included 3D depth mapping and lighting enhancements, likely used to create features such as Portrait Mode seen in the iPhone 7.

    It's unclear what other "3D photographing" features the sources are referring to that would be hardware-based, although Apple does own old patents for face and biometric recognition. Otherwise, Apple has patented inventions in the past for high-end image analysis techniques such as object recognition, but these largely rely on software. Apple is also said to have a team of people working on integrating augmented reality functionality into the iPhone's camera app.

    Apple has a major iPhone redesign planned for 2017, with a glass body and edge-to-edge OLED display that includes an integrated Touch ID fingerprint sensor, front-facing camera. The new iPhone may be sold alongside upgraded (but standard) 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhones, and could potentially feature wireless charging.

    Article Link: Apple Exploring New 3D Dual-Lens Camera Hardware for iPhone 8
  2. JaySoul macrumors 68030


    Jan 30, 2008
  3. Beeplance macrumors 68000


    Jul 29, 2012
    Still hoping they will finally get rid of the camera bump, even though it's years after the iPhone 6.
  4. Kognito macrumors regular


    Jul 27, 2011
    Yeah! Then we'll be able to create our own 3D content for all those 3D TVs that they don't sell any more.
  5. twinlight macrumors 6502a


    Sep 4, 2016
    This is a step towards AR. If the phone can see the world in 3D and map the environment, it can do some awesome augmented reality applications.
  6. Speedy Dingo macrumors regular

    Speedy Dingo

    Jun 4, 2010
    Should be interesting come next year. I really dig the 7 Plus' camera - just wish the dual camera system wasn't just on the Plus.
    If Apple can't include dual cameras on the smaller models, at least include this in the box.:D

  7. LordQ Suspended


    Sep 22, 2012
    What's the bet this is exclusive for the OLED Plus.
  8. Garrod Suspended


    Nov 13, 2008
    The interesting thing about this story is the possible idea of linking the 3D camera and Apple pursuing VR.
  9. Naraxus macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2016
    Gimmick plain and simple to disguise the fact that Apple's iPhone innovation has long since peaked. Slightly larger phone to accommodate a larger battery? Nope. Keeping tech that's worked for decades like a 3.5mm headphone jack? Nope.

    Useless tech like 3d that nobody really gives two **** cents about? Yes!
  10. Nr123*123 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2014
    All this technology...that will mostly be used for instagram photos of generic food.
  11. dannys1 macrumors 68020


    Sep 19, 2007
    Don't worry, they'll try to launch 3D again in another decade...
  12. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
  13. Xi Xone macrumors member

    Xi Xone

    Oct 24, 2016
    I hope they put the 3D camera on all models and not just the Plus
  14. GrumpyMom macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2014
    I have been super vocal about my hatred of the removal of the headphone jack. Heck, I even bought an HTC 10 with a high quality DAC for wired headphone use so I can indulge my preference for wired audio for many years to come. However even I acknowledge that Apple made a decision that's likely to gain traction across the industry. By some chance if it doesn't, I imagine Apple may relent and bring it back or continue to go their own way and keep advancing the capabilities and qualities of wireless audio accessories. At any rate it is done and we need to see what happens next.

    If Apple can make some serious strides in making augmented reality not just practical but eventually indispensable, that WOULD be innovative and reinvigorate the smart phone. However, it would take considerable imagination to do so.

    One practical application Lenovo has already done in a very limited way with IKEA is to let users use AR to visualize IKEA products in their home. A use like this could be vastly expanded on to bring a revolutionary level of convenience to consumers. It would also require Apple to forge many relationships among merchants as Apple has tried to do in advancing Apple Pay.

    I can see them taking AR further to enhance connecting remote workers to each other for meetings. And that's about as far as MY limited imagination can go without my morning caffeine. Wake me up I've got a Turkey to cook.
  15. Billsofat macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2016
    iPhone 3DS

    But seriously...what a gimmick to bump up the OLED price.

    Also, if they got rid of the camera bump, imagine the battery life increase iPhones could get, along with other hardware. Remember how they said that phones are a fight for space inside? Yeah, you started that fight for yourself, Apple.
  16. Hanzu Lao Suspended

    Hanzu Lao

    Aug 24, 2016
  17. intofx macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2010
    It took apple 7 years to develop the touch bar. Who really thinks that they just now started to look into 3d photography for thier flagship product.
  18. SoSickSadNslOw macrumors member


    Jul 26, 2016
    United Kingdom
    Apple, don't you dare leave the Plus model hanging, plus model was the only reason I gave up my Note.
  19. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    I'd say give that the 7 Plus already has dual camera, features like this for future iPhones shouldn't be surprising at all. Before the 7 launch I think some were speculating that 3D or photos with multiple levels of depth were going to be part of the dual lens setup.
  20. Rob_2811 macrumors 68000

    Mar 18, 2016
    United Kingdom
    When this ships the dual camera (which they apparently didn't have any room for) will get the hand me down treatment to the smaller phone.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 24, 2016 ---
    Won't ;)
  21. RiddlaBronc macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    Mcallen Tx
    And it will be revolutionary!
  22. slprescott macrumors member


    Mar 22, 2012
    I've long thought the dual camera was a step toward letting people capture dual video for later 3D display in Augmented Reality.

    The iPhone 7 Plus cameras don't do this since each has a different purpose, but this article does show that Apple is exploring the concept for use in a future iPhone. They've got to be exploring ways to leverage all the AR / VR technologies they've acquired, and putting that power in the hands of users via dual video capture could be exciting.
  23. pat500000 macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2015
    With AR being focused, I would love to use the ar iPhone on Tim Cook and see what's inside his head.
  24. twocents macrumors regular


    Mar 31, 2016
    California, USA
    3D dick pics... you heard it here first folks
  25. Casiotone macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2008
    While it's possible that the acquired LinX engineers helped with the Portrait mode software, nothing indicates that the iPhone 7 uses actual LinX dual camera hardware. LinX cameras can extract a true depth map using supplemental hardware in the cameras (sub-pixel sensors), which doesn't seem to be present in the iPhone 7.

    The Portrait mode feature looks like Apple decided to try to emulate the LinX camera hardware using software ("for extra credits" as they said) since the hardware wasn't ready as the acquisition is very recent. It uses AI in software to create a rudimentary 9 layers depth map using shape and face recognition, while the LinX cameras could provide a much more detailed depth map via hardware which should work well with any object.

    It would make sense for Apple to work with a company like LG to get them to manufacture dual camera modules based on LinX tech, which should improve the Portrait feature reliability, and with a real depth map would have great applications for Augmented Reality, which Tim Cook keeps talking about.

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