Apple to revolutionize the phone interface, again, and Androids may follow (air gestures, AR camera)



We've been hearing that Apple is working very seriously on AR for future iPhones and even standalone products, but it turns out that we might see the fruits of this labor as soon as the 2019 iPhones hit the shelves. 

Korean media is abuzz with supply chain and industry sources tipping that Apple will implement a revolutionary new interface navigation method on them, based on air gestures and 3D-sensing cameras. The work is apparently so advanced that Chinese phone makers are rushing to mimic whatever they think Apple has in mind for 2019.

We were wondering how all of a sudden a time-of-flight 3D-sensing rear camera landed in the new Oppo R17 Pro, for the first time in a phone, and today we may have one of the possible reasons for this unorthodox kit. At the time of unveiling, Oppo said that the ToF stereo 3D rear cam can be used for gesture navigation and AR purposes, fitting perfectly with the narrative here. 

Plenty of companies have been working on this, too, as you can see from Microsoft Research's demo on an oldie Samsung phone below, and what it does with just the standard RGB main cam - zoom, swipe, or flick.


It's not the first time Chinese makers are attempting something similar - after the iPhone X landed with a big notch at the front, housing the Face ID set, we now have tens of notch-y models with some sort of facial recognition unlocking. Not only that, but handsets like the Mi 8 Explorer Edition and Oppo Find X also include real 3D structured lighting face recognition at the front, like what Apple's TrueDepth camera does.

It's also not the first time we are hearing about a potential ToF rear camera on the back of next year's iPhones. That's precisely the triple-camera setup analysts and supply chain sources have been talking about for a while now. Let's not forget that the Galaxy S10 is also expected to feature a tri-camera model next year, so where there is smoke, there might be AR fire, too. Everyone may be forced to respond to Apple implementing a breakthrough navigation tech, according to a source in the parts supply chain:


The parts industry says that Apple has cracked the code of multi-finger hovering gesture recognition by increasing the capacitive touch sensitivity from 30mm to 50mm and eliminating the problem of ghosting touches somehow. Coupled with the AR/VR rear camera(s), this could lead to virtual objects scanned with the ToF camera to be manipulated smoothly on the screen without touching it, for instance. Apple has plenty of patents filed in the last two years that detail how a 3D-sensing, touchless interface would work, including for gaming. Here's what one of these 3D depth mapping patents says:



The distance-aware display of the 2019 iPhones could also remove the need for a proximity sensor, and so on. The possibilities are endless, and we can't be more curious to see what Apple and the Android gang do with this Minority Report tech. We hope it looks like that PrimeSense promo video below - after all, Apple bought out PrimeSense, and its engineers have been involved in filing Apple's depth interface patents. Now, what will Apple call it, if 3D Touch is already taken?


source: ETNews (translated), Patently Apple (1,2)

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78 Comments

3. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

It's the oppo r17 pro not vivo. Did you even check the article that was published on the link?

51. eli577

Posts: 142; Member since: Jun 29, 2010

And just one question: how do we benefit from air gestures on a 6 inch screen? Did the article writer saw how big ass of a screen was used in that movie for air gestures?

61. htcisthebest

Posts: 436; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

The editors on this site, especially the one named Alan, are usually very ill-informed on Android-related devices. Because all they have in their heads are Apple iPhone.

4. AbhiD

Posts: 801; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Such was a hurry of praising apple and declaring it as the king and ultimate innovator of smartphone industry, that the author turned Oppo R17 Pro into Vivo R17 Pro. " We were wondering how all of a sudden a time-of-flight 3D-sensing rear camera landed in the new Vivo R17 Pro, for the first time in a phone, and today we may have one of the possible reasons for this unorthodox kit. At the time of unveiling, Vivo said that the ToF stereo 3D rear cam can be used for gesture navigation and AR purposes, fitting perfectly with the narrative here. "

76. cheetah2k

Posts: 2254; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Alas again the PhoneArena doouche bags are ill-informed and Apple is the only thing that exists on the planet.... Thats ok though, made for a good laugh

6. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 411; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

Samsung does it and still does it it's a gimmick. Apple does it they've revolutionised interfaces huh? So sad, when will people realize the iPhone is built up in the back of stolen ideas and celebrity endorsements.

16. bucknassty

Posts: 1337; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

This site bashed the S4, note 3 and S5 so bad that it led to the removal of air gestures... now that apple has somehow.... continues to shock me even though i should expect it... wow

20. bucknassty

Posts: 1337; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

last post messed up now that apple has somehow "cracked the code of multi-finger hovering gesture recognition" which has already been a feature elsewhere! it's seen as revolutionary??? come on! this site continues to put its foot in its mouth

26. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Anything implemented by Android OEMs like : Air gestures, smart pause, VR, 4K screen, 3D Recording, Dual Aperture etc is gimmick. But as soon as Apple will implement it, it’s “REVOLUTIONARY”. Even according to some here, VR was a FAIL but just look how now it Revolutionary.

65. audibot

Posts: 634; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

right and dont forget the scroll with the eyes

72. bucknassty

Posts: 1337; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

I showed that to my friends one year and they were like.... WTF! that is the craziest sh*t ever.

57. GalaxyLeads_iCrapFollows

Posts: 216; Member since: Nov 29, 2017

Apple is revolutionary at stealing Samsung's ideas such as air gestures, which was already used in Samsung phones several generations ago

7. cmdacos

Posts: 4198; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Funny how the articles notes that everyone is doing the same thing behind the scenes currently but Apple will revolutionize the space lol

10. worldpeace

Posts: 3133; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Even the source show various kind of implementations, from every manufacturers except Apple.

17. bucknassty

Posts: 1337; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

it doesnt count unless apple does it

8. maherk

Posts: 6873; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

May? Lol They will go ham in copying Apple. If Google are blatantly copying Apple, we shouldn't criticize those Chinese manufacturers anymore.

32. Georgio

Posts: 246; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Google doing what? What the heck is copying from Apple?

34. maherk

Posts: 6873; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Notch and removing the headphone jack ;)

36. Georgio

Posts: 246; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Android had a notch before apple.(Essential phone) Apple( IOS ) copied much more from android over the years.

39. maherk

Posts: 6873; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Apple are innocents when it comes to copying. They copied much more software features than Android has ever done, even the new swipe gestures they ripped them off from WebOS. And they'll keep on doing so, every iOS release brings features we Android users have been enjoying for years and years. It's just that I find it sad that majority of Android OEMs are trying to imitate Apple when designing their phones, rather than stay faithful to their own identity. And no, I wish everyone was copying the Essential Phone's notch, but they're all designing their notches like Apple, wide and curvy. Let's not kid ourselves here, Apple is the reason why the notch is popular.

42. Georgio

Posts: 246; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

So ; why is google fault? They have to make support for the notch. I'm not saying that the rest didn't copied apple ; I;m talking about google.

46. maherk

Posts: 6873; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I'm sorry, but did you see the Pixel 3? It has the ugliest notch on a smartphone.

48. Georgio

Posts: 246; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Yes its ugly but we have an option to buy one without a notch.

55. maherk

Posts: 6873; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

You're still missing the point. Fact is, Google is following Apple's lead in building their phones.

40. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Now compare Essential’s Notch with most of chinese iPX wannabe notch. You will get it.

43. Georgio

Posts: 246; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

I never said that chinese phones are not copycats

49. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

And they are Android.

50. Georgio

Posts: 246; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

So what if they are android? They are chinese ; chinese are well known for making copycat products( clothes ; electronic ; watches ; cars ; phones; luxury items) They copy everything!!

38. Georgio

Posts: 246; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Plus google had to support the notch ; cos most of the phone manufactures made phones with the notch. Google also had to showcase their os in a phone who has a notch. But Google also give us the option to buy a phone without a notch ; for people who doesn't like it

9. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

It is funny to read that hardly anything is known about this and yet they already know it's revolutionizing the phone interface. Also funny is that somehow a lot of companies are working on AR and gesture-based interfaces, not because it's the natural progress of things, no because Apple is working on it. Great objective writing here....

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