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Looking ahead to next year, Ming-Chi Kuo believes that contrary to some analysts' expectations, Apple is unlikely to integrate a time-of-flight (ToF) depth sensing system in the rear camera of its 2019 iPhones.

Reports of Apple including rear-facing 3D sensing capabilities in its 2019 iPhone lineup first began appearing last year. At the time, Apple was said to be evaluating a ToF approach, which is different from the one it currently uses in the TrueDepth sensor system on the front of the iPhone X.

iphonexcameradesign-800x321.jpg

TrueDepth relies on a structured-light technique that projects a pattern of 30,000 laser dots onto a user's face and measures the distortion to generate an accurate 3D image for authentication. By contrast, ToF calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off surrounding objects to create a 3D image of the environment.

However, in a note to investors this morning, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that the company would not use a rear-side application of ToF technology in next year's smartphone lineup for two reasons.

First, the distance and depth information provided by rear-side ToF is currently insufficient for creating the "revolutionary AR experience" that Apple ultimately wants to develop. Kuo believes that in addition to camera distance/depth data, the complete AR ecosystem Apple is aiming for requires 5G connectivity, augmented-reality glasses, and a "more powerful Apple Map database," which is presumably a reference to Apple's efforts to enhance Maps with augmented reality features.

Second, the addition of rear-side ToF would do little to improve the iPhone's photo-taking capabilities, because the current dual-camera setup is already capable of capturing or simulating enough distance/depth information to make photo-features like Portrait Mode a reality.

"We believe that iPhone's dual-camera can simulate and offer enough distance/depth information necessary for photo-taking; it is therefore unnecessary for the 2H19 new iPhone models to be equipped with a rear-side ToF," Kuo concludes.

Last October, Kuo similarly pushed back against reports that Apple would expand its front-facing TrueDepth system to the rear camera on this year's iPhone lineup, which is due to be announced later today. Given Kuo's latest remarks on Apple's smartphone roadmap, rumors of rear-camera 3D sensing capabilities for next year's lineup seem just as unlikely.

Article Link: Kuo: 2019 iPhones Unlikely to Feature Time-of-Flight 3D Sensor in Rear Camera
 
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kiranmk2

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2008
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TOF 3D object detection is very expensive and complex - the chance are that it will wither not be possible to minaturise to fit an iPhone or that it would be very expensive to do so. The other option is to use the cameras to detect objects (a dual camera system could achieve this) but with this there is the issue of ambient light messing things up. Using an infrared camera would remove this issue, but this currently needs a InGaAs sensor which cost $$$s. Something needs to give (i.e. get cheaper) for this technology to make its way into consumer products.
 

alpi123

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2014
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Does this dude actually have resources to be able to tell anything? It seems like any word that comes out of "analyst" is classified as a leak.
 
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dan9700

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Here we go all we gonna hear now is 2019 rumors wish we could wait a little
 

leman

macrumors P6
Oct 14, 2008
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Surely you mean infrared and not laser... 30000 laser dots on my face would be terrifying.
 

BornAgainMac

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Feb 4, 2004
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So basically the new iPhone and next year's iPhone can't measure the time it takes for a laser to bounce off objects. At least ship the laser for this year's iPhone.
 

Skeith

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Mar 18, 2012
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With this news, I can see Android folks doing a mad rush to market this out before Apple.
 

Kiorr

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Dec 7, 2017
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Anybody remember the google tango with (TOF)?
Asus and Levono actually made it on there 2 of there phones, and then came Apple arkit and Google killed of the tango project.
Remember i thought this technology will apple scoop up one day and make it "mainstream"
[doublepost=1536752859][/doublepost]
 

chabig

macrumors G4
Sep 6, 2002
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Seems like Kuo likes to keep his name in the news.

Next week's headline, "Kuo: 2019 iPhones Unlikely to Feature Time-of-Flight 3D Sensor on the left side"
 

kemal

macrumors 68000
Dec 21, 2001
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Samsung will put it on the back of the S10. It will not work very well as reviewers will be able to fake it out with a carved pumpkin.
 

g35

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2007
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Does this dude actually have resources to be able to tell anything? It seems like any word that comes out of "analyst" is classified as a leak.
Are you kidding? His very old predictions of 6.1" LCD and 5.8"/6.5" OLED iPhones were just proven right in the last hour. He was the first one to call it and never changed his story.

This is from 10 months ago https://www.macrumors.com/2017/11/13/kuo-three-new-iphones-2018/

I'm not going to look up any more of his predictions, but if you care to do so, you'll see his track record is pretty accurate.
 
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Renho

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Sep 15, 2014
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Are you kidding? His very old predictions of 6.1" LCD and 5.8"/6.5" OLED iPhones were just proven right in the last hour. He was the first one to call it and never changed his story.

This is from 10 months ago https://www.macrumors.com/2017/11/13/kuo-three-new-iphones-2018/

I'm not going to look up any more of his predictions, but if you care to do so, you'll see his track record is pretty accurate.

i always believe his news, he is always spot on with his leaks. On other news, is anybody else sick of hearing during the keynote. "this is the best iPhone we have ever made" Well no **** its your newest model.....ughhhh
 

GuruZac

macrumors 68030
Sep 9, 2015
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Holding out one more year. Still very satisfied with my 7 Plus but by next year, I’ll be ready to upgrade so I’ll be keeping up with the rumors for the next 11 months.
 

Krizoitz

macrumors 68000
Apr 26, 2003
1,684
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These leaks of Apple's future plans by Kuo are a a betrayal of Apple; probably illegal, and he should be sued. Also, he's making it all up.

Wait, are they leaks or is he just making it up? You can't have it both ways.

If they are unauthorized leaks then yes, that would be a betrayal of Apple.
The leakers themselves might be doing something illegal, but Kuo is probably not since he is not the one leaking the information but receiving it. In the US and many other countries Kuo would be protected under journalism laws (such as the 1st Amendment). Apple has an incredibly smart and capable legal team, i'm willing to bet they would have sued Kuo by now if it was legally possible AND they thought it worth their while. Since they haven't either:
A) They can't sue him because of whatever laws apply
B) They can sue him, but it would not be worth the time, effort, PR hit, etc.
 
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