Apple will have to ensure the rumored 3D cam will indeed be efficient enough to detect the user’s face in various situations, like when in a moving car, in varying light conditions and so on.
Apple sure will do its best to make its 10th anniversary iPhone offering, the iPhone 8 not only the best but also stands out from the rest of the 2017 smartphone flagships. And one way for it to achieve that could be by incorporating a 3D camera up front.
Even though the technology isn’t exactly path breaking, 3D cameras still make for an innovative value addition to any smartphone. They also serve multiple purposes, which includes 3D selfies, Augmented Reality games and biometric authentication.
The above thought process which has its origins in a recent report prepared by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is further supported by the fact that Apple had recently acquired the Israel-based start-up RealFace for an estimated $2 million. RealFace had been working on face recognition software that would negate the need to go for fingerprint-based authentication techniques.
However, there remains considerable doubt if Apple will be successful in implementing 3D face detection technology in real life conditions. There have been several hurdles in the past with the most recent Lumia 950 XL being the most glaring example of the technology not being efficient enough.
One reason the technology has not worked in the past is the inconsistency in camera performance in varying light conditions. It remains to be seen how the 3D camera functions in dimly lit rooms or when there is a bright light just behind a person’s face. Further, the camera is also required to be held at a precise angle with respect to the user’s face for it to work. This again requires a bit of practice, and many might revert to the usual fingerprint technique to unlock their devices.
Surely Apple will need to perfect these aspects before it can expect the 3D camera feature to really become a hit. That is also the reason that many speculate the next iPhone might still continue with fingerprint sensor or iris scanner or both in addition to 3D cams for user authentications. Kuo meanwhile also stated the 3D camera will also be accompanied by an IR module as well.
Authentication apart, gaming could be another area when the 3D cam could see a lot of application. The world has already got used to AR based games thanks to Pokémon Go, and Apple’s incorporation of a 3D cam can further add impetus to AR gaming.
Other ways Apple wishes to make its iPhone 8 to standout from the rest include a fresh design makeover which includes making the entire front end to be of one seamless piece of glass. That way, the home button could be accommodated along the rear or placed beneath the front display. Also, Apple is touted to use an OLED glass for the front display even though the technology has long been used by its competitors.
The rear too could be made of glass and will have a dual lens camera for improved photo quality. Rumor further has it that the sides will be made of stainless steel for added strength and support.