By: Nick Gambino

According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple is planning on doubling down on 3D when they release the iPhone in 2020. At least is unnamed sources close to the project are to be believed.

The iPhone is no stranger to 3D. The Face ID feature introduced with the iPhone X used 3D dots to map the human face in order to create a more secure log-in experience, as well as gimmicks like Animoji’s. The latter feature is arguably less popular than originally hoped, but I don’t see it going away anytime soon.

Per Bloomberg, Apple isn’t just making small upgrades to the camera, but rather they are going to go all in with a laser-based 3D camera that can register objects and people from up to 15 feet away. This is a far cry from the abilities of the X or Xs. Your current iPhone only allows up to 50 centimeters before it stops recognizing your face. So that’s a big difference.

It’s highly doubtful this is being introduced as a way to access your phone from several feet away, because what would be the point of that? Instead, the lasered 3D tech will allow for more depth to be added to photos and a richer AR experience.

If you’ve been following the company’s development track, this augmented reality aspect fits the narrative. Apple has made no qualms about their interest in AR but has yet to release anything eye-popping. AR apps and built-in AR features will only see wide adoption if the camera is up to snuff, adding real recognition and depth.

Bloomberg speculates that this could all be laying the groundwork for an independent AR headset that Apple is rumored to be working on. While everybody is diving head first into VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, Tim Cook and co. see a real future in overlaying digital imagery on the existing environment. From a practical tool perspective, this makes a lot of sense. VR is merely entertainment, but AR has real-world applicability that is virtually limitless.

But this new camera is not expected until at least late 2020. In the meantime, let’s focus on the expected demise of the lightning cable in 2019.


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.