A new patent has revealed details of a forward-facing Time-of-Flight Depth (ToF) sensor that will appear in an upcoming Apple phone – supposedly the iPhone 12 – that would enable gestures in the air.
Ultimately, the ToF sensor could replace the existing depth sensor system on flagship iPhones, which are used to recognize faces but also record hand gestures Apparently Apple. The latter could be used for touchless navigation, like the in-air gesture features of the LG G8 (the pioneer of the Selfie ToF) and the Google Pixel 4, though neither implementation has been too successful.
The hardware that the front-facing ToF sensor would replace has been around for years. Ever since the iPhone X, Apple̵
Sensors include a point projector that tracks the depth of over 30,000 invisible infrared points projected onto a face and an infrared camera that takes an image. The system combines these and processes them through neural networks to create a mathematical model of your face. per pocket lint.
According to the two Apple patents, the ToF sensor, like others of its kind, reportedly would measure distance using pulsed optical beams and measure how long it would take to get back to the sensor – i.e. the time of flight. ToF sensors are not new to phones – but so far they have mainly been used on rear cameras to calculate the depth of photo subjects, not selfies.
ToF sensors: not new, but new for selfies
The Honor View 20 debuted one of the first flight sensors on a smartphone in late 2018, and flagships took it over the next year to expand their rearview camera arrays.
Most of the time, however, they are prestige additions to more premium phones: one of the perks of opting for the more expensive Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, for example, is the ToF cameras, which are used to expand portrait modes and other depth features .
Most of them, however, were intended for rear photography – only the LG G8 used a ToF sensor for front operation and developed some innovative applications, e.g. B. Tracking hand gestures for easy navigation and media control. The feature never worked as well as we wanted it to, but it set the G8 apart from the competition. Perhaps Apple’s signature polish could make gestures in the air land more effective.