Ten years after the release of the first model, the iPhone still remains the most popular devices from Apple. In addition, it is this line that is advanced in the development of smartphones. Yes, competitors often implement new technologies before, but they rarely manage to popularize them.
One of the key features of the iPhone X was its appearance. In the Jubilee model, Apple first moved away from the design, introduced in 2014 with the release of the iPhone 6, equipping the smartphone with a display on almost the entire front panel. The introduction of Face ID allowed you to get rid of the Home button and release the bottom part under the display. Face ID itself, using a system of cameras and sensors to create a 3D model of the user’s face, is considered more reliable than the Touch ID.
It is believed that the TrueDepth camera, due to which the Face ID work is provided, caused the shortage of the iPhone X at the start of sales. This is also one of the components that Android-makers will copy in the near future. Huawei has already done this (borrowing from Apple even Animoji), while the rest are still working on their own variations on the camera theme with 3D scanning.
Note that the face scan has been used in Android-smartphones for several years. However, existing technologies relied on a 2D model, which was why they were far from Face ID for security and speed of identification.
According to TrendForce in its report, this will soon change. Since the release of the iPhone X, many companies have been investing in development in this direction to present users with a worthy replacement for Face ID.
What in the end?
As a result of these new trends, the global market for infrared projectors for 3D sensors of mobile devices will reach $ 246 million this year. By 2020, it is projected to expand to $ 2 billion.
Analysts also suggest that in the future such sensors will be used not only in the front, but also in the main camera of smartphones. The front module will retain the face recognition functions like Face ID, while in the main camera this technology will significantly expand the use of augmented reality.
Component manufacturers, including Lumentum, Finisar, Princeton Optronics, NeoPhotonics, Philips Photonics and OSRAM OS, will continuously increase production in the coming years to cope with ever-increasing demand. The process is already underway. In particular, Apple recently announced an investment in Finisar.
Companies, including Apple PrimeSense, as well as Mantis Vision, Qualcomm, Himax and Intel, are working on a structured light system – it is also used in Face ID. At the same time, STMicroelectronics, Google, Infineon, MicroVision and Orbbec are developing time-of-flight technology (ToF or Time-of-Flight), which will allow creating three-dimensional images. It will find its application in the field of augmented reality.
Apple, Samsung, Asus, Xiaomi, Lenovo, Huawei, Oppo and other companies are preparing to release new smartphones with 3D cameras in the coming years.
And that’s all – thanks to a small notch in the iPhone X display.