Update: A representative for Derkwoo Electronics has emailed MacRumors claiming that The Elec‘s report contained “wrong information” and “something that is not true about us.” The original article has since been deleted.
Next year’s iPad Pro models might ship with built-in 3D-sensing rear cameras.
Citing unnamed sources, the outlet believes that Derkwoo Electronics will be the company tasked with producing some of the components required to produce the 3D sensing camera modules. However, mass production of those parts isn’t expected until the end of this year, which means we shouldn’t expect a launch just yet.
The rear 3D sensing is said to be powered by time-of-flight technology, which measures the time that it takes for a laser or LED to bounce off of objects in a room, providing an accurate 3D map of the surroundings. The goal is to improve the tablet’s augmented reality features.
While the 2019 iPhone won’t get the same technology, the report does suggest that we can expect time-of-flight capabilities to arrive in the 2020 iPhone towards the end of that year.
Before you get too excited, there appear to be conflicting reports about when the next iPad Pro will be released. A recent Bloomberg article claims that Apple is just weeks away from unveiling a 10.2-inch iPad Pro.
It would be unusual for Apple to debut a new version just five or six months later. Also, Apple typically introduces new features to its iPhones before any other product, not the other way around. However, Apple does tend to reveal AR tech on its iPads, so it’s not impossible that the capabilities of the time-to-flight camera are better demonstrated on a tablet.