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Apple developing ‘killer’ 3D camera for iOS devices

by David Needle

April 1 2012

Will a future Apple device include 3D picture and video capabilities? (Shown above, a Fujifilm 3D camera)
Will a future Apple device include 3D picture and video capabilities? (Shown above, a Fujifilm 3D camera)

What’s coming next from Apple? The perennially secretive company doesn’t share much, but its patent applications can be an indicator of to expect in future products.

The site Patently Apple spotted Apple’s patent filing for a 3D imaging camera that will apply to both still photography and video.  When and how the technology is implemented is open to speculation, but in an article Friday, Patently Apple says it’s likely to become part of a future Apple device, such as a new version of the iPhone or iPad. 

The new cameras being developed in Apple’s labs will utilize new depth-detection sensors such as LIDAR, RADAR and Laser that will create stereo disparity maps in creating 3D imagery. Additionally, the cameras will use advanced chrominance and luminance Sensors for superior color accuracy.

“And if that wasn't enough, the new cameras will not only include facial recognition but also facial gesturing recognition,” says Patently Apple. 

Apple is far from the only company working on 3D camera technology, which has been around for years, but much as it did with another established technology, touchscreens, the consumer tech giant may be gunning to advance and enhance 3D and make it more broadly available. 

As Patently Apple puts it “...the technology described in today's invention will definitely provide iOS devices with the ability to view killer 3D images that could only be appreciated on Apple's “Resolutionary” Retina Display. Apple's resolutionary experience has only begun. With the ability to view stunning 3D imagery, photos and videos on our new iPad displays, the resolutionary experience is only going pop our brains even further.” 

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