Apple is trying to add a rear-facing 3D laser system to the back of the iPhone 8, set to come out this fall. The sensor system would give the iPhone better depth-sensing abilities for augmented reality (AR) apps and better auto-focus for standard photography.
Apple's working to add a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) system that gives the phone's camera better depth perception. It does this by calculating how long it takes for the imperceptible light to travel from your phone, to the target object, and back.
Apple always want users to have the best experience out there, so if they can create the best augmented reality platform with the best phone for watching AR, they have the potential to meet the ultimate level of success in this subject.
Even if you're not into AR, the laser will also increase your camera's auto-focus capabilities. The laser system gives your phone a more accurate and quicker way to measure objects in the frame, down to milliseconds. So, it's basically a win for everyone.
Current iPhones use something called "focus pixels," which is also known as phase detection. This is a complicated process where your phone splits up incoming light into sets of images and compares them to determine where an object is, and how to focus on it.
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