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Rumor: iPhone 8 to have "revolutionary" 3D-sensing front camera

By Ian Chee & Cookie Monster - on 22 Feb 2017, 10:53am

Rumor: iPhone 8 to have "revolutionary" 3D-sensing front camera

The front-facing camera of the top-end iPhone 8 will receive a major upgrade according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo calls the front camera "revolutionary" as it has new components such as an infrared module, a 3D sensor and advanced algorithms to combine depth information with 2D images for applications including face recognition, iris recognition and 3D selfies for use in augmented reality. It is also possible to be used in new innovative games where the character's head is replaced with that of the user. 

The algorithms are said to be developed by PrimeSense, an Israeli company which Apple acquired in 2013 for about US$360 million. With a similar concept as the dual-camera module of the iPhone 7 Plus, the 3D sensor of the front camera can detect the depth and location of the subjects.

The infrared module consisting of a transmitter and receiver will use vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser technology from Lumentum. Fast Company previously reported that Apple is working with Lumentum on 3D-sensing technology. The camera module is apparently built by Sony although an earlier report suggests LG as the supplier of the 3D camera.

Kuo believes that these innovations of the front camera will eventually be introduced to the rear cameras for future generations of iPhone. The advanced technology and 3D algorithms associated with the 3D camera sensor may help Apple stay ahead of the competition for a few years. 

Many industry watchers expect Apple to eliminate the physical Touch ID button to make way for a bezel-less design, which prompted the company to explore other forms of biometric authentication. The iPhone maker recently acquired Israeli startup firm RealFace for its unique facial recognition technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and "brings back human perception to digital processes".

Source: 9to5Mac