Apple could be planning to bring more 3D trickery to the cameras in future iPhones, if media reports are to be believed. In particular, it said to be interested in the next-gen 3D sensors that Sony will make available in 2019.
That means the successors to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max could feature speedier face recognition, better depth effects for your photos, and some cool 3D modeling options that would come in useful for augmented reality apps – basically everywhere a 3D sensor could potentially be put to good use.
Sony hasn't confirmed exactly which companies are lining up to buy its 3D sensors, but Bloomberg believes Apple is among them. It would certainly fit with Apple's continued interest in augmented reality on its smartphones.
"Cameras revolutionized phones, and based on what I've seen, I have the same expectation for 3D," Sony's head of Sony’s sensor division, Satoshi Yoshihara, told Bloomberg. "The pace will vary by field, but we're definitely going to see adoption of 3D. I'm certain of it."
Smartphone makers could certainly use a few sales pegs to shift a few more units during 2019. As well as improved 3D photo features, keep your eyes open for 5G connectivity and foldable form factors to be among the innovations hitting the market during 2019.
If you're due an upgrade next year, you're going to have some serious flagships to pick from.
The Honor View 20 is already using Sony's 'time of flight' sensor to allow you to scan objects in real time and have them come to life, although we've not seen how excited consumers are for these features.
Whether or not these new sensors will make it into the iPhone 11 and friends remains to be seen, but it would (for example) enable Face ID to work at longer distances and with greater accuracy.
We've also heard rumors Apple is working on upgraded 3D sensors of its own, so whichever way this year pans out we're almost certain to have new iPhones that go further into the third dimension than ever before.
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Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.