Apple’s next iPhone could come with a “revolutionary” new selfie camera that uses infrared technology to detect the location and depth of objects in its field of vision.
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a track record of leaking accurate information on Apple products, the 3D camera system could be used for facial recognition, iris recognition and 3D selfies.
It could also be used in augmented reality mobile games, to accurately replace a character’s head with that of the user, Kuo wrote in a research report seen by 9to5mac .
Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus is already able to carry out a rudimentary form of depth detection, using its two rear cameras to determine the distance of objects.
However, the dedicated infrared transmitter and receiver on the iPhone 8 will make the 3D-sensing front camera much more accurate, according to Kuo.
The 3D system works by sending invisible infrared light signals outwards from the phone and then detecting the signals that bounce back off of objects using the 1.4 megapixel infrared receiver.
Kuo said that, in the future, Apple could add 3D sensing technology to its rear cameras as well, removing the need for large dual camera iris systems.
With 2017 marking the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone , many are expecting Apple to give its flagship device a major design overhaul this year.
Rumours suggest that it will be made entirely from glass and come in three size options. At least one of these is thought to feature a curved OLED display – similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge – and boast 4K resolution.
Apple is also rumoured to be getting rid of the physical Home button and replacing it with a touch-sensitive digital button. Eye-scanning technology is also rumoured, as well as a dual-lens camera and wireless charging on all three models.
Based on Apple’s well-established “tick-tock” cycle, the 2017 model would be called the iPhone 7s. However, given that this is likely to be a fairly major upgrade, it seems unlikely that Apple will opt for that name – as it would downplay the upgrade.
It’s more likely that it will be called the iPhone 8 – or perhaps even the iPhone X, to mark the 10-year anniversary.
The new iPhone has been rumoured to cost upwards of $1000 (£795).