2020 iPhones to use time-of-flight sensors: Report

The new Apple iPhone Xs (L) and iPhone Xs Max (R) are displayed during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) 

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revised his estimates on next year’s iPhones Monday, claiming that two of them will be fitted with a time-of-flight sensor in their rear camera, which would also help enhance its augmented reality and photo taking capabilities. 

As reported by 9to5mac, the sensors are similar to the infrared camera system found in current iPhones, which enable its Face ID feature, except that they would also work at longer distances, and support higher-quality 3D photo captures. Unlike the infrared camera, these sensors would be fitted in the back of the phone.  

Time-of-flight sensors, which typically use infrared lasers to detect depth, have been used in drones, automobiles, and gaming accessories. Lately, they have become a hot new feature in smartphones – with Samsung, LG, Huawei, Oppo, all incorporating it into their high-end phones. The sensors help take better portrait-style photos and videos and enable users to operate a phone with motion gestures. 

In another report, Kuo said that all three 2020 iPhones will support 5G connectivity, revising his earlier estimate where he said that only two would support 5G. His earlier predictions for the 2020 iPhone lineup still stand – they will sport 6.7-inch, 5.4-inch, and 6.1-inch OLED screens respectively.  

As for the 2019 iPhone lineup expected later this year, predictions are that they will be fitted with a 
new A13 chip, a triple camera system, and a new Taptic Engine.