Report: Advanced 3D Sensing Capabilities For AR Headed To iPhone 8
We’ve heard a lot about Apple’s iPhone 8 over the last few months. In fact, we’ve probably been privy to enough rumor and speculation about the device that we could make a fairly accurate prediction about not only the visuals but also the internal specification of the hardware.
To append what we already know, a new research note by BlueFin Research Partners is now suggesting that a number of companies have been added to Apple’s component supplier list for the device, indicating a strong likelihood that the hardware will come equipped with 3D sensing capabilities for AR purposes.
Speculation about this type of feature being built into Apple’s iPhone 8 started growing last week when Largan Precision confirmed publicly that it would be shipping the necessary lenses for 3D sensing modules later on in this year. That particular company is a supplier to Apple, and while the announcement or confirmation didn’t explicitly mention Apple as a receiver of these lenses, there has been enough history to suggest that the company will be involved with Apple in this sense.
Apple has already announced significant augmented reality plans going forward, and technology like this baked into iPhone 8 would certainly assist with that:
In addition to Largan Precision, another Apple supplier, Lumentum, has also announced that it expects to see increased shipments of its vertical-cavity-surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) components during the latter parts of 2017. According to the research note, this really only points to Apple looking to introduce these capabilities into iPhone 8:
On last night’s earnings call, Finisar management did not mention Apple by name, but they highlighted they expect to see volume VCSEL orders in their second fiscal quarter, which is the October quarter end of this calendar year.
We also want to highlight Finisar acknowledged they are shipping VCSEL lasers to multiple customers, but one customer (aka Apple) is accounting for the majority of total demand.
The increased speculation simply adds to the excitement surrounding iPhone 8, but also likely adds to the ultimate cost that the user will have to pay. We’re expecting a significantly improved device in terms of design and capabilities, but that will likely be reflected in the purchase price.