DigiTimes claims Apple has asked its suppliers to prepare ToF camera lens components for the next iPhone series (iPhone 12).
What is ToF?
The principle of ToF technology is similar to the Face ID, but the components and implementation are different. It receives the light to obtain the distance and depth information of the target. Moreover, due to this process, in theory, it can construct 3D images.
Also Read: 2019 iPhone Xi To Use Super Wide-Angle And ToF Lens
According to supply chain sources, Apple has asked its supply chain partners to provide VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) components. This component is for its rear ToF camera lenses, which will arrive in 2020. The iPhone 12 (aka iPhone 2020) will include a rear camera with a ToF component, which will greatly improve the AR experience.
The VCSEL component we have seen before has been used on the original deep sensor on the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max. But it is placed on the front for face recognition, Animoji and portrait mode selfies.
The current Face ID structured light technology projects 30,000 laser spots onto the user’s face and measures the distortion to generate 3D images for authentication. In contrast, ToF calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off a surrounding object to form an environmental three-dimensional image. This allows for more accurate depth perception and better location of virtual objects. Plus, it should also result in better capture of the depth of photos.
In fact, last year’s OPPO and this year’s Huawei smartphones have used ToF cameras. But they have not yet come up with a suitable use scenario. In other words, users don’t understand what the advantages this technology brings. Bloomberg says the rear camera of the Apple iPhone 12 will be able to scan an area 15 feet (about 4.5 meters) from the device. This distance is farther than the ToF parts of existing Android phone. As you guess, we are hinting at AR experience Apple is currently talking much about.