Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 is going to feature a major upgrade to the front camera, according to Apple analyst KGI Ming-Chi Kuo. A report published today says that the OLED iPhone will include a ‘revolutionary’ front camera and Infrared module that can sense the 3D space in front of it.

The analyst says the new components will be able to merge the depth information with the 2D images from the front camera for applications including face recognition, iris recognition, and 3D selfies …

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The analyst says the advanced 3D front camera system could be used in new innovative games that can accurately replace a character’s head with that of the user. The combination of front camera and 3D sensor would allow the iPhone to generate a 3D selfie which could be used in augmented reality.

The hardware will use algorithms developed by PrimeSense, which Apple acquired in 2013. The sensor will apparently be able to detect the location and depth of objects it can see. Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus already includes an immature form of depth detection by including two rear cameras that use their optical parallax offset to determine distance away.

KGI says the 3D sensing front camera for iPhone 8 would be much more advanced using a dedicated Infrared transmitter and receiver. The Infrared transmitter will apparently use vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser technology from Lumentum (as previously rumored), the front camera will be produced by Sony and the IR receiver will be manufactured by Foxconn/Sharp. The 3D system works by sending invisible IR light signals outwards from the phone and then detecting the signals that bounce back off of objects using the 1.4 megapixel IR receiver.

Looking beyond 2017, KGI says next-generation iPhones will likely add 3D sensing rear cameras as well, potentially removing the need for large dual camera iris systems. The analyst says Apple is years ahead of Android platform in terms of 3D algorithms which will make the advanced 3D camera sensor a unique iPhone feature for a couple of years.

The OLED iPhone is expected to be a major upgrade over the current iPhone 7 series in both design and functionality. Moving away from LCD panels, Apple’s upcoming flagship iPhone is rumoured to feature a large 5.8 inch OLED display with 520 PPI in a bezel-less glass design. The Home Button is expected to be replaced by a virtual ‘function area’, leaving about 5.2 inch screen area for application content. Despite the larger screen, the phone is expected to be amount the same size as a 4.7 inch iPhone 7 thanks to space savings by removing almost all bezels.

Other iPhone 8 rumors include the addition of wireless chargingbetter water resistance, and some form of face recognition biometrics, which may tie in to the latest news of the 3D front camera. The new iPhone 8 has been rumored to cost upwards of $1000.

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