avatarby Dan BartramApril 2, 20170 comments

Many reports have pegged the iPhone 8 to be exploring augmented reality and also feature 3D sensors to accommodate this. Notorious analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has  previously predicted that the front facing camera on the iPhone 8 will use special 3D sensors to let users map their surroundings and scan real-world objects.

It seems that these suspicions have further been enhanced by analysts Andrew Gardiner, Hiral Patel, Joseph Wolf, Blayne Curtis and Mark Moskowitz who reported in a Friday research note, obtained by 9to5Mac, that the iPhone 8 may feature a second 3D sensor on the back specifically for augmented reality features.

Here’s what the research note had to say:

The key to Apple’s 3D sensing ambitions will, in our view, be two structured light cameras, one each on the front and back. This shift represents a change from our earlier assumption of a structured light camera on the front and advanced depth mapping Time-of-Flight sensor on the rear.

We now think the 3D sensing for facial recognition (front) and augmented reality (rear) will be conducted via two custom modules, with AMS/Heptagon providing significant content on the transmit side and STMicro on the receive side.

The Time-of-Flight refers to a method that measures the time it takes a wave to travel from point A to point B through a certain medium. This will be utilized in the iPhone 8 camera to potentially scan nearby objects and report back how far they are in three dimensions. Apple acquired Primesense, an Israeli startup, back in 2013 for $350 Million and is expected to have formed the basis of this technology for use in the iPhone 8.

This is coupled with the belief that Apple is expecting to move towards OLED displays that could be slightly less curved than that on the Samsung Galaxy S8, but curved nonetheless. It’s also expected the next iPhone could cross the $1000 mark given the cost of manufacturing the device with the new technology.

What features the 3D technology will actually translate into are still unclear but it looks likely to be some form of augmented reality if 3D does make it into the iPhone 8. Would you use AR technology if Apple were to build it into a useful purpose, such as Maps? Drop us a comment and let us know what you think.

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