Android Makers Plan 3D-Sensing ‘TrueDepth’ Rivals for 2018

Android makers looking to keep up with Apple’s Face ID technology are planning to debut their own 3D sensor tech next year — but they might have some catching up to do.

Chinese smartphone vendors Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi are working to equip their next-generation smartphones with 3D sending functionality, according to supply chain sources cited by DigiTimes. Oppo and Xiaomi, specifically, have reportedly verified total 3D sensing solutions developed by a joint partnership between Qualcomm, Himax and Truly Opto-electronics. According to those sources, all three Chinese OEMs are expected to debut smartphones with 3D sensing technology in 2018.

The newest report lines up with an October forecast by well-connected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities. According to Kuo, the number of inquiries into 3D sensing technology nearly tripled since Apple took the wraps off its own Face ID and TrueDepth Camera technology in September.

That’s a stark contrast to many manufacturers’ previous plans to develop display-embedded fingerprint recognition technology. That’s something that Apple was also rumored to be exploring (with some difficulty), although a chief Apple hardware engineer said in October that the company “spent no time” developing such a solution, since it had decided on Face ID early on in the iPhone X’s development.

Apple regularly competes with Android phonemakers in the race to debut new and innovative features. While Apple was the first to equip a device with a facial recognition system as advanced as Face ID, for example, several Android makers beat Apple to the punch of developing a smartphone with an edge-to-edge display.

Still, it’s not currently clear how advanced the Android-based 3D sensing systems will be by next year, since previous forecasts suggested that Android makers had some catching up to do. In a KGI Securities research note distributed in October, Kuo said that Apple’s Face ID and TrueDepth system was at least two and a half years ahead of the competition.

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Developers are already using the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera for face capture apps

A Tumblr post today by a Taiwanese visual effects artist shows a hint of the potential impact that the iPhone X’s new True Depth camera system will have on future apps.

Elisha Hung, a visual effects artist at Moonshine Animation, which produces for Asus and MSI, captured his face with the iPhone X’s camera, and then used Xcode and Apple’s bew augmented reality framework, ARKit, to fetch data and later transform it into 3D renders.

The final result was a floating head with holes for eyes and a mouth that’s aggressively winking into empty space. It might not seem like much, but it’s an early look at the future of face-mapping apps as more developers make use of Apple’s facial recognition technology.

As another example of the cool things…

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Apple’s Clips 2.0 adds iPhone X TrueDepth features, Selfie Scenes, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ content

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Apple has updated its Clips short video production and sharing app to 2.0, bringing with the update a redesigned update, better iCloud support, Selfie Scenes, and the Millenium Falcon from the "Star Wars" series as a backdrop.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Warby Parker app uses TrueDepth camera in iPhone X to recommend frames that will best fit the user

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Warby Parker’s app update to accommodate the iPhone X uses the TrueDepth camera to go beyond just a virtual try-on of glasses, and recommends styles that suit the user’s face shape.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

iPhone Lineup Won’t Feature Rear-Facing TrueDepth Next Year

Apple isn’t likely to add its TrueDepth Camera technology to the iPhone’s rear-facing camera next year, according to an analyst report on Tuesday.

The TrueDepth system, which is based on infrared sensing and 3D depth mapping technology, enables features such as Face ID and Apple’s new Animoji for the iPhone X’s front-facing, selfie camera. But despite its added benefits, Apple is unlikely to apply the new system to rear-facing cameras on 2018 iPhones, renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted.

“Based on aforementioned assumptions, we do not expect 2H18F iPhones to come with rear TrueDepth Camera/3D sensing, contrary to market expectations,” Kuo wrote in a KGI Securities research note distributed to clients Tuesday.

Despite his forecast, Kuo added that KGI can “agree that a rear TrueDepth Camera/3D sensing can potentially provide more augmented reality (AR applications.” The analyst went on to state that Apple needs to “quickly” resolve two issues if it wants rear-facing TrueDepth, namely:

  1. Fostering the development of both AI and ARKit software and apps, and an AR ecosystem. All of which takes time.
  2. Stabilizing shipments and on-time shipping, both of which are challenging due to the “higher spec requirements of a rear TrueDepth camera.”

Presumably, the complexity of manufacturing and assembling the TrueDepth system could also halt its inclusion within the rear-facing camera system. Its components are complicated and incredibly fragile, and those issues are part of why the iPhone X is both a bit late and in short supply this year, reports indicate.

Kuo did add that, since TrueDepth is years ahead of the company’s Android competition, Apple’s main focus for next year’s iPhones will probably be an on-time launch and an adequate supply of devices. Even without rear-facing TrueDepth, Kuo said that Apple will, unsurprisingly, add other upgrade tech and specifications to next year’s stable of iPhones.

Previous reports suggest that front-facing TrueDepth will be included on all of next year’s iPhone models, as well as the 2018 iPad Pro lineup.

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