The tech titan is reportedly exploring the possibility of a rear-facing 3D sensor system for the iPhone to be released in 2019. A new rear-facing system would enrich the augmented reality experience on the company's flagship mobile device, according to a report from Bloomberg citing unnamed sources familiar with plans.
The new sensor system would be different from Apple's front-facing Face ID technology it unveiled in the iPhone X this fall. That system, which uses TrueDepth technology, projects structured light onto the user's face to measure distortion and generate a 3D image for authentication.
The planned new technology, though, would instead use a time-of-light approach to calculate how long it takes for a laser's light to bounce off an object in order to create a 3D replication of the environment, Bloomberg reported.
Apple is expected to keep the TrueDepth technology for front-facing 3D sensors, meaning future iPhones could have both front- and rear-facing 3D sensor technology. Time-of-light sensor manufacturers include Infineon Technologies AG (IFNNY) , Sony Corp. (SNE - Get Report) , STMicroelectronics NV (STM - Get Report) and Panasonic Corp. (PCRFY) .
The new technology is still in its early phases and could wind up not making onto the 2019 iPhone model.
Apple stock dipped 0.07% lower to $173.85 in premarket trading Tuesday.
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