Smartphone manufacturers have managed to convince consumer that they need better cameras each year. Now they are trying to pull the story we need more cameras. Apple is, if sources are to be trusted, back in the ‘better’ game, bringing innovation to smartphone camera arena. The next iteration of iPhone is supposed to feature powerful Apple 3D camera for improved Augmented Reality phone capability.

If anyone made a living on its camera quality, it is Apple. Oversimplification to be sure, but the grain of truth is that the company made camera innovation an absolute imperative from model to the next. Sources with an ear in Silicon Valley speak of the next innovation, Apple 3D camera that scans and shoots 3D images from up to 15 feet afar. The same sources seem to suggest that this capability will debut in iPads as early as next year.

As any satisfied user of current iPhone 3D camera will tell you, it works. Its scope being highly limited though, to not a lot more than facial recognition feature. The improved Apple 3D camera system will replace the current dot-projection for a laser scanner, capable of greater distance and precision. The camera will scan environment and create AR-capable 3D objects. Laser is also a more comprehensive solution for advanced depth perception, both in regular and AR-powered photos. We imagine sensors might prove to be a challenge, and apparently, Apple is counting on Sony to run sensor tests.

It would be a huge improvement over the existing Apple 3D camera setup. It is also a must – given that other manufacturers have sniffed out Augmented Reality to be their next thing. Nevertheless, Apple is always on the forefront, delving into AR deeper than the smartphone competition can. A lot of it has to do with the upcoming Apple AR glasses of course, but no doubt that a fair amount of research and knowledge is being transferred to iDevices. Because iPhone is still the number one revenuer for Apple, and it is not going to change. Year-to-year numbers will, as they have been harsh on Apple lately, but the brand remains. And the time is right to rekindle the interest in Apple stock by introducing much better camera capabilities.

Apple 3D camera is not the only image innovation the company is lining up. Sources speak of a more powerful third camera that would yield more pixels and larger FOV; they speak of updated Live Photos that would whoop the video length to 6 seconds from current 3 as well as updating to USB-C connector, and they say that we should expect the goodies as early as 2020! Going against the company logic, they will apparently debut to iPad first and then transition to flagship device. Highly unlikely, given the prominence AR is getting lately, and from none other than Tim Cook himself. Let’s not do dates then. Let us instead poke a little more into what is hiding beneath Apple 3D camera craze.