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Rumours Circulate Over iPhone 8 3D Laser Camera for AR

Apple said to be developing a 3D scanning laser to enhance AR capability in the iPhone 8.

There has been much frenzied speculation over what new features will be incorporated into the upcoming new iPhone. With Apple embracing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and the release of Apple’s ARKit, many are expected the iPhone 8 to come with some manner of VR or AR capability, and a leak may have revealed some information on what form those capabilities might take.

According to Fast Company, insider sources have revealed that the upcoming iPhone will include a ‘Vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser’, also known as a VCSEL, a type of camera scanning system that allows for better depth perception and auto-focus capabilities. Gathering accurate depth-of-field data allows for more realistic AR experiences, as the AR images can be more accurately placed within the environment.

VCSEL works by calculating the distance that light travels from the laser source back to the sensor. The technology is said to cost roughly $2 (USD) per phone, and some sources are reporting that Apple has been acquiring the components for a VCSEL laser from various suppliers. The insider source claims that the VCSEL technology will be mounted in the back for the iPhone 8 to work alongside the rear camera.

Some companies have already begun experimenting with Apple’s existing VR and AR tech, with Nexus Studios using an iPhone 7 and Apple’s ARKit to create an AR experience using the iPhone 7 sensors to get a sense of location and map the surroundings, a video demonstration is available to view below. Though Nexus Studios admit this is only an early demo, it does raise interesting possibilities on what is still to come from Apple.

VRFocus will bring you further news on Apple’s VR and AR projects as it becomes available.

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