According to DigiTimes, Apple has asked its suppliers to produce ToF camera lens components for the next iPhone series.
ToF technology works on the same principles as the Face ID, only that its components and implementation are different. Its system receives the light to obtain the distance and depth information of the subject and can build 3D images.
The company has asked its supply chain partners to provide VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) components for its rear ToF camera lenses, to be released in 2020. To improve the AR experience, the smartphone is set to integrate a rear camera with a ToF component.
Until now, the VCSEL component was at the base of the original deep sensor on the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max. Now, it will be placed on the front for face recognition or portrait mode selfies.
In comparison to the currently used Face ID structured light technology that projects 30,000 laser spots onto the user’s face, while measuring the distortion to create 3D images, the ToF calculates the time necessary for a photon to bounce back from an object adn come back to the sensor in order to form an environmental three-dimensional image.
This way, more accurate depth perception is possible, as well as better location of virtual objects.
According to Bloomberg, the rear camera of the iPhone 12, rather than the ToF parts of existing Android phone, will have the ability to scan an area 15 feet from the device.