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New rear 3D cameras could bring “world-facing” facial recognition to iPhones


New iPhones released this year by Apple will include rear-facing 3D depth-sensing cameras, opening up a range of new possible use cases for the applications they enable, such as facial recognition, supplier sources indicate to Fast Company’s Mark Sullivan.

The feature’s inclusion was reported a month ago, though supply-chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously reported that it would likely first show up in an iPad later this year.

A recent presentation from True Depth camera laser supplier Lumentum suggests the 3D “world-facing” camera will have significant benefits for portrait photos and augmented reality (AR), enabling improved 3D mapping for gaming and user-generated 3D digital objects and other content. Apple launched its ARKit for developers in 2017, but its 2D digital object placement system has not been used for popular mainstream apps yet. The technology could also enable behavior analysis and sentiment recognition Fast Company suggests could be used by content publishers and advertisers.

Sony recently revealed plans to begin mass producing 3D camera sensors for front- and rear-facing smartphone cameras this summer.

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