Apple Plans to Add Rear 3D Sensor for Augmented Reality

Waits for iPhone X drop to 2-3 weeks

Apple's current flagship iPhone X model, by comparison, uses a TrueDepth sensor system that projects a pattern of 30,000 laser dots onto a user's face and measures the distortion to generate an accurate 3-D image for authentication.

The final result was a floating head with holes for eyes and a mouth that's aggressively winking into empty space.

The introduction of ARKit allowed developers to create AR apps that can identify flat surfaces, but it still has trouble with walls, doors and windows.

This isn't the only iPhone X-exclusive feature that elicits surprise.

Update: As iMore first reported and Apple has since confirmed, the Animoji feature does make use of the TrueDepth camera some of the time. It will only stop working if you cover the regular front-facing camera. This is how Face ID gets the 3D data it needs to check for a facial identity match and unlock the device. While some kind of Animoji feature could theoretically be enabled on older iPhones, it wouldn't work almost as well without the TrueDepth camera, which seems to be why Apple chose to limit Animoji to the iPhone X. More importantly, the subtext of these reports suggested that there was no technical reason for Apple to have limited Animoji to the X and forcing consumers who wanted the feature to buy the company's most expensive phone. When Animoji seem to remain responsive even after the IR sensor is covered, the system could still be going off of an earlier reading.

You can test it out yourself by covering everything inside the notch but the FaceTime camera. Apple has already made a huge bet on augmented reality by developing ARKit, the tech giant's own augmented reality platform that's natively part of iOS 11. Because that's what Apple does, unfortunately. But I say that's partially valid because Apple released three iPhones that are powered by the same exact hardware.

Does this mean Animoji could work without the IR camera on other iPhones? If it's a hardware thing.

The iPhone X has many features that you won't find on your now-obsolete, year-old iPhone.

But iPhone X isn't the only iPhone with the A11 Bionic chip; iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus both feature the latest Apple chip too.



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