iPhone 8 May Feature Rear-Facing 3D Laser for Improved Autofocus and AR

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple is working on a rear-facing 3D laser system that will enable better depth detection for augmented reality apps and more accurate autofocus in the iPhone 8, reports Fast Company, citing a source with knowledge of the company's plans.

    The iPhone 8 is said to use a VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) system for the rear camera, which analysts have previously speculated could be added to the device. There's also been some evidence that Apple has been sourcing VCSEL components from companies like Lumentum and Finisar, and Fast Company says Apple has tapped both companies along with II-VI for sensors.

    iPhone 8 rendering via OnLeaks and TigerMobiles​

    VCSEL would offer faster and more accurate depth measurements for augmented reality purposes, along with speedier autofocusing when taking a photograph.
    That Apple is working on improved augmented reality hardware for the iPhone 8 is no surprise given the focus on augmented reality and ARKit in iOS 11. New 3D camera technology was rumored for the rear-facing camera as early as November of 2016, and multiple design leaks point towards a revamped vertical dual-lens camera, suggesting a major camera revamp. The front-facing camera is also expected to include a new 3D sensor that would enable facial recognition.

    According to Fast Company's source, the VCSEL system for the rear-facing camera is "probably intended" for the upcoming iPhone 8, but its inclusion "depends on the progress" Apple engineers make integrating it into the iPhone.

    As we learned in a report yesterday, the source that Fast Company has spoken to believes iPhone features "can remain fluid until deep in the summer" ahead of an iPhone launch, though it seems more logical that work on the iPhone 8 is complete as we are just two months away from its prospective September introduction. Given the many rumors of a major camera redesign and previous rumors pointing towards 3D capabilities, a VCSEL laser system is a reasonable feature to expect to see in the device.

    Fast Company's previous report suggested there is a "sense of panic" in the air at Apple as engineers and designers struggle to work out software problems with wireless charging and the 3D sensors meant for the device. The site also said Touch ID was "likely" to be included in the iPhone 8, despite multiple rumors suggesting it's been removed in favor of facial recognition.

    Article Link: iPhone 8 May Feature Rear-Facing 3D Laser for Improved Autofocus and AR
  2. johnnyturbouk, Jul 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017

    johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    This sounds fascinating, but I hope it is not used to justify another insane price hike. Brexit is more than pinching now lol!

    I'm holding out until the iPhone can be used as a light saber / bagel toaster *

    *Disclaimer: I only source whole foods, pure GMO modified, jailbroken bagels
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    At this point it feels like the iPhone 8 will include everything just nothing will work until iOS 11.1 is released.
  4. RCS31 macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2013
    These are the types of things Apple doesn't get enough credit for.
  5. Jakeoster macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2010
    This seems like something that will show up in the 2018 iPhone.
  6. Manzzle macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2012
    Last night I heard that the iPhone 8 could go for up to $1.3k.

    If this phone starts out above $999.00 I'd be hoping it has ALL the bells and whistles, so more features bring them on.

    Your gonna have to work hard for my money this time Apple!

    My 7 Plus is in no hurry to go anywhere.
  7. manhattanboy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2007
    In ur GF's bed, Oh no he didn't!
    How about lasers :p

  8. Sunny1990, Jul 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017

    Sunny1990 Suspended


    Feb 13, 2015
    Laser iPhone :D it will be interesting to see what actual capabilities Apple bring with this at launch.

    Only 8 weeks to Go. i am very excited about this launch.
  9. ThomasJL macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2008
    Lasers are unsafe if the beams enter the eyes.
  10. Bhatu macrumors regular


    Apr 1, 2013
  11. yossi macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2004
    "The whole thing costs about $2 per phone"

    what a time to be alive. twenty years ago, that system would be the size of an airconditioner and cost $150,000
  12. Jimmy Bubbles macrumors regular

    Jimmy Bubbles

    Jul 10, 2008
  13. Mrjynx macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2006
    First time in awhile nobody knows what's really going on with next iPhone. Finally a bit of excitement.
  14. Infiniverse48 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2017
    This would mean near-instantaneous autofocus, far superior Bokeh effect, and far superior AR. Of course this was going to come to iPhones for AR purposes, but no schematic leaks have suggested the presence of these sensors on the rear of the 2017 iPhone. It seems more likely this is a 2018 feature. Certainly something that sparks curiosity in my mind is where they can fit these sensors due to the unbelievable internal space usage they have engineered the 2017 iPhone for. If it has these sensors on the rear as well, it's simply astounding engineering and it deserves pure praise for the internal hardware engineering.

    The things you can do with sensors like this on the rear of the device are going to be groundbreaking. Computers need these sensors as they give the computer 3D vision. Computer vision is essential for the profound things AR could accomplish. It needs to be able to see the object in 3D so it can recognize it with far greater accuracy.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 12, 2017 ---
    Well I'd say many things are known, but like always, specifics of certain aspects remain unknown or highly questionable.
  15. raazman macrumors member

    Sep 9, 2010
    Why would Apple get credit for this? It's already available in many phones out there.
  16. aaronhead14 macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2009
    The rumors surrounding this phone are all over the place. Makes me wonder if Apple's design teams are even focused. Seems like they're just a bunch of guys with ADD.
  17. Mr. Dee macrumors 65816

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    Guess what, after the iPhone 8 is released, we are going to: eat, sleep, defecate just the same and there will be another one next year and our lives are not going to be dramatically improved by it. But guess what, Apple will get more money, Tim, Angela, Eddy, Jony, Craig will get a raise. Seriously, if you have an iPhone 7, 6s, 6, 5s, 5, keep it and save the money until 2020. Only people should be upgrading are 2g, 3g, 3gs, 4 and 4s.
  18. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    But the laser is supposed to "enable more accurate autofocus"...
  19. Infiniverse48 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2017
    Or people who want a significantly better experience. Sorry but this year is the year to upgrade. It's a bigger upgrade than any previous year, and I'm talking actual useful features, namely a larger display in a similar sized device, and the number one feature is a larger display in a similarly sized device because the display is the most fundamental aspect to a smartphone.
  20. jmh600cbr macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2012
    to me this is obvious. they don't introduce AR without it being better on iPhone 8
  21. Infiniverse48 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2017
    No phone is using dual cameras and infrared sensors on the back and front for AR. Not google tango either.
  22. TheTruth101 macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2017
    Case 1: Mommy, someone took my iPhone 8 at school :....(
    Case 2: Dear, I think your iPhone 8 went overboard....
    Case 3: Daddy.... I left my iPhone 8 in the cab I think
    Case 4: Baby, I think my iPhone 8 felt from my pocket at the movie theater...

  23. scott523 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2006
    Saint Charles, MO
    At this point, I've lost confidence of an iPhone 8 for this year. o_O
  24. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604


    Oct 13, 2008
    Everywhere And Nowhere
    The first VCSEL was presented in 1979 by Soda, Iga, Kitahara and Yasuharu Suematsu,[14] but devices for CW operation at room temperature were not reported until 1988.[15] The first semiconductor VCSEL was invented by Axel Scherer and Jack Jewell, two scientists at the AT&T Bell Laboratories. The term VCSEL was coined in a publication of the Optical Society of America in 1987.[citation needed] Today, VCSELs have replaced edge-emitting lasers in applications for short-range fiberoptic communication such as Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel.

    Headquarters Sunnyvale, California

    Lumentum is headquartered in Milpitas, California
  25. CarlJ macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    The parable of "the blind men and an elephant" comes into play here in a big way...

    Apple is famous for trying out and rejecting large numbers of ideas, either because they don't pan out, or because they can't be ready in time (maybe next year) or because they end up too expensive, or because the needed parts can't be sourced at rates of close to a million per day.

    Word of some idea will get out and make big headlines on rumor sites, even though the idea was discussed, maybe prototyped, and long since rejected, inside Apple. And this repeats many times, one analyst saying it'll have X, another saying Y, another Z. And people put all the rumors together and then expect the phone to have dozens of features that Apple never said it would have (yes, they tried features X and Y - those didn't pan out).

    This is one of the reasons they generally don't announce roadmaps of models/features months in advance like some other companies - it allows them to change their mind about which features should make the final cut, very late in the process. So Apple is focused... on the ideas/features that passed muster (a list which will not be as long as all the features that have been rumored at one point or another).

    Me, I think if it comes with lasers, it should come with sharks too.

    I'm just looking forward to the 7s (assuming that's the likely name of the non-premium model), because my 6 is starting to need replacing, and I'd rather not buy a 7 right before the 7s drops - I expect the 7s will almost certainly have the usual array of CPU/GPU/camera improvements over the 7.

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