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Apple’s 2019 iPhone ‘to have rear facing laser 3D camera’

Apple is developing a radical rear facing laser camera to allow augmented reality apps to be even more realistic, it has been claimed.

Bloomberg says the technology could be included in the firm’s 2019 iPhone lineup – just a year before it is expected to introduce its first AR spectacles.

The new camera will use a laser to bounce light ‘pulses’ off objects and measure how far away they are, a technique known as time of flight, according to Bloomberg.

 

The new camera will use a laser to bounce light off object and measure how far away they are, a technique known as time of flight, according to Bloomberg.

HOW IT WORKS 

The new camera will use a laser to bounce light ‘pulses’ off object and measure how far away they are, a technique known as time of flight.

By analysing these measurements, the iPhone can build up a picture of its surroundings. 

Apple’s patent for the technique says it can ‘extract a three-dimensional (3D) map of the object’

 

By analysing these measurements, the iPhone can build up a picture of its surroundings.

In June, Patently Apple revealed Apple was granted a patent application for the technology.

Apple noted in their patent filing that ‘The system also comprises a light source, such as a laser #22, which is driven by a laser driver to direct a light beam through a DOE which typically comprises a diffractive lens.’

One of the engineers credited in the patent, Jawad Nawasra is also credited with another 3D mapping patent titled Time-of-flight depth mapping with flexible scan pattern. 

It explains: ‘Imaging apparatus includes an image sensor, which acquires an image of a scene, and a scanner, which includes an optical transmitter, which emits a sequence of optical pulses toward the scene, and an optical receiver, which receives the optical pulses reflected from the scene and generates an output indicative of respective times of flight of the pulses.  

Apple engineer Jawad Nawasra patented the 3D 'Time-of-flight' depth mapping with flexible scan pattern in 2016. Shown is how the system would work - use a laser to bounce light off object and measure how far away they are

Apple engineer Jawad Nawasra patented the 3D ‘Time-of-flight’ depth mapping with flexible scan pattern in 2016. Shown is how the system would work – use a laser to bounce light off object and measure how far away they are

‘A processor identifies an object in the image of the scene, defines the non-rectangular area so as to contain the identified object, and processes the output of the optical receiver so as to extract a three-dimensional (3D) map of the object.’ 

Google is also experimenting with a similar system for its Android phones, and has already produced handsets under its ‘Project Tango’.

APPLE’S 2018 IPHONES REVEALED 

Apple’s iPhone X may have only been on sale for a few days, but Apple’s plans for its successor are already being analysed.

Experts say there are three new iPhones on the way – including Apple’s biggest ever phone with a gigantic 6.5 inch screen.

All three will abandon the home button in favor of Apple’s FaceID system, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes.

Is this Apple's 2018 lineup? Experts say there are three new iPhones on the way - including Apple's biggest ever handset with a gigantic 6.5 inch screen.

Is this Apple’s 2018 lineup? Experts say there are three new iPhones on the way – including Apple’s biggest ever handset with a gigantic 6.5 inch screen.

 

It comes amid claims Apple’s augmented reality glasses could be on shelves by 2020, it has been claimed.

Codenamed T228, they will run a version of Apple’s iOS called ‘reality OS’.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple ‘aims to have technology ready for an augmented-reality headset in 2019 and could ship a product as early as 2020.’ 

He says Apple’s device will have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system, ‘according to people familiar with the situation’.

It is believed the software will be a ‘fork’ of the iOS software on iPhones and iPads – similar to the version created for the Apple Watch. 

It has been named ‘rOS’ for ‘reality operating system,’

A secret team team is working on several hardware and software projects under the umbrella code name of ‘T288’, it is claimed.

The Apple AR glasses patent details a head-mounted, touch-screen display that could work alongside an iPhone. It could work in tandem with an iPhone, representing points of interest (a landmark or an object such as a moving car) in a view of a real environment

The Apple AR glasses patent details a head-mounted, touch-screen display that could work alongside an iPhone. It could work in tandem with an iPhone, representing points of interest (a landmark or an object such as a moving car) in a view of a real environment

 It is believed the firm is taking its time to make sure the technology is ready.

‘Anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with,’ Tim Cook recently told The Independent when talking about the firm’s AR plans.

Jony Ive told The New Yorker’s TechFest conference last month the iPhone X and its screen had faced a similar issue, saying ‘there are certain ideas that we have and we are waiting for the technology to catch up with the idea.’

According to Bloomberg, engineers are prototyping applications from mapping to virtual meeting rooms and 360-degree video playback using HTC Vive headsets (pictured)

According to Bloomberg, engineers are prototyping applications from mapping to virtual meeting rooms and 360-degree video playback using HTC Vive headsets (pictured)

The firm is believed to be investigating touch panels, voice-activation via Siri and head gestures to control the glasses, and a recent Apple AR glasses patent details a head-mounted, touch-screen display that could work alongside an iPhone.

According to Bloomberg, engineers are prototyping applications from mapping to virtual meeting rooms and 360-degree video playback using HTC Vive headsets 

A special development kit similar to Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Daydream using as iPhone as a screen is also being made, although it is believed it will only be used internally to develop apps for the new glasses. 

APPLE’S AR GLASSES PATENT 

There has been speculation that Apple is developing an AR headset that may work in tandem with the iPhone. 

Catcher Technology, a Taiwanese company that manufactures metal casings for Apple products, may also make parts for Apple’s AR glasses.

In an interview with Nikkei Asian Review, Allen Horng, the chairman of Catcher Technology, did not confirm what project his company is working on, but there has been speculation that it’s working on Apple’s AR product given that the company already works with Apple on its product casings. 

The Apple AR glasses patent details a head-mounted, touch-screen display that could work alongside an iPhone. It presents a way of representing points of interest (a landmark or an object) in a view of a real environment on an iPhone screen (pictured) 

The Apple AR glasses patent details a head-mounted, touch-screen display that could work alongside an iPhone. It presents a way of representing points of interest (a landmark or an object) in a view of a real environment on an iPhone screen (pictured) 

The Apple AR glasses patent details a head-mounted, touch-screen display that could work alongside an iPhone.  

It also presents a way of representing points of interest (a landmark or an object such as a moving car) in a view of a real environment on an iPhone screen, with interaction functionality. 

As such, the iPhone could potentially connect to the AR headset, allowing the wearer to see point of interest in real time. 

The patent for the AR glasses (artist's impression) was the work of AR software development firm Metaio, which Apple acquired in May 2015 after it developed 'thermal touch' - a way to trigger actions in digital content via a person's heat signature

The patent for the AR glasses (artist’s impression) was the work of AR software development firm Metaio, which Apple acquired in May 2015 after it developed ‘thermal touch’ – a way to trigger actions in digital content via a person’s heat signature

Rumors that Apple is planning to bring introduce augmented reality smart glasses have been swirling since March.

In July, it was revealed that the tech giant filed a patent application showing how the AR glasses would work.

Now, it’s reported that Catcher Technology, a Taiwanese company that manufactures metal casings for Apple products, may also make parts for Apple’s AR glasses.  

Allen Horng, the chairman of Catcher Technology, did not confirm what project his company is working on, but there has been speculation that it’s working on Apple’s AR product – given that the company already works with Apple on its product casings.

‘Based on what we have learned, [new AR products] need to look good and be light enough to wear … that makes the casings for such device very complicated to manufacture and there are still a lot of challenges to overcome currently,’ Allen Horng said in an earnings conference on Tuesday, November 7th. 

The Apple AR glasses patent details a head-mounted, touch-screen display that could work alongside an iPhone.  

It also presents a way of representing points of interest (a landmark or an object such as a moving car) in a view of a real environment on an iPhone screen, with interaction functionality. 

As such, the iPhone could potentially connect to the AR headset, allowing the wearer to see point of interest in real time. 

This is particularly useful for AR apps such as tour guides for exploring new cities. 

Jeff Pu, an analyst Yuanta Investment Consulting, told Nikkei Asian Review that Apple’s AR glasses could go on sale at the end of 2019. 

The patent was the work of AR software development firm Metaio, which Apple acquired in May 2015 after it developed ‘thermal touch’ – a way to trigger actions in digital content via a person’s heat signature. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook has called augmented reality (AR) a ‘big idea’ and people will ‘have AR experiences every day, almost like eating three meals a day’.

APPLE’S AR IPHONE APPS 

In September, Apple’s new iOS 11 update included a new augmented reality platform.

The ‘ARKit’ augmented reality system uses the cameras on an iPhone to detect a flat surface, or ‘plane’ to put the virtual objects on, such as a table or floor.

With a combination of machine learning and the camera data, it can constantly adjust the image so the object appears secured to the correct surface without the ‘jitters’ or other AR systems.

One of the apps for Apple's new augmented reality platform is a virtual version of the Very Hungry Caterpillar that puts the much loved character in a child's living room, allowing them to feed and play with it until it transforms into a butterfly

One of the apps for Apple’s new augmented reality platform is a virtual version of the Very Hungry Caterpillar that puts the much loved character in a child’s living room, allowing them to feed and play with it until it transforms into a butterfly

ARKit also makes use of the camera sensor to estimate the total amount of light available in a scene and applies the correct amount of lighting to virtual objects. 

One of the apps for Apple’s new augmented reality platform is a virtual version of the Very Hungry Caterpillar that puts the much loved character in a child’s living room, allowing them to feed and play with it until it transforms into a butterfly.

The Walking Dead’ app allows users to fight zombies wherever they are: streets, parks, living rooms and backyards. 

But players won’t face the apocalypse alone; Rick, Daryl, Michonne and more iconic characters from the hit TV show will fight by their sides. 

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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