The ever trustworthy Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities is at it again with fresh iPhone 8 news, this time about a possible camera update.

According to Kuo, via 9to5Mac, Apple will incorporate a 3D sensing front facing camera in the next iPhone. This would require the addition of an IR module and an improved front facing camera.

Not dissimilar to the Lumia 950 XL’s dual-sensor set up, the new camera would be able to capture a 3D image of the user, which will have multiple uses including biometric security and AR gaming.

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THE INNOVATION IS THE RESULT OF PREVIOUS ACQUISITIONS PRIMESENSE

The innovation is the result of previous acquisitions PrimeSense, which will power the new tech, and, Lumentum’s IR technology. The recent acquisition of Israeli startup, Realface, which specialises in facial recognition technology, also comes into clearer focus with today’s news.

Apple gets a new trick

The most interesting aspect of KGI’s report is the assertion that Android is “years” behind Apple in terms of 3D algorithms. The exact quote reads,

“The analyst says Apple is years ahead of Android platform in terms of 3D algorithms which will make the advanced 3D camera sensor a unique iPhone feature for a couple of years.”

If this report is accurate, and Apple is staking its individuality on 3D algorithms, then it’s a smart direction to head in for two obvious reasons.

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Firstly, the AR market has had a huge injection in the last year thanks to Pokemon Go. Millions now know, understand and are comfortable with the AR concept and would be open to new innovations and smartphone-related features.

IF APPLE IS PLANNING ON HEAVILY FOCUSING ON AR AND 3D TECH IN THE IPHONE 8

If Apple is planning on heavily focusing on AR and 3D tech in the iPhone 8, then it couldn’t have picked a better time than now thanks to the Pokemon craze.

Secondly, the reasons for buying an iPhone over an Android – or vice versa – are dwindling. All manufacturers need something to stand out. The operating systems are matched in features and design, whilst there’s little between the iPhone 7 and recent top Android handsets in performance and design.

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So a solid, genuinely innovative feature like fast and accurate biometric security facial recognition, or AR-inspired gaming, would certainly set the iPhone 8 against the competition.

There are a few hurdles to clear, however, when it comes to facial recognition as a security feature. Namely inaccuracy and, as a result, speed. The Lumia 950XL suffered badly because of it, but I suspect Apple will have a better go of it, especially if the plan is to replace Touch ID.

Between Samsung’s foldable phone and Apple’s new AR technology, 2017 is shaping up to be a year of smartphone innovation. Something the industry has lacked in recent in recent times.