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

80. zackh121556

Posts: 133; Member since: Feb 01, 2012

Why is this story still on the front page???

79. eelpout

Posts: 35; Member since: Oct 13, 2016

hmm, reminds me of Microsoft's doomed McLaren Windows Phone w/3D touch (by hovering over the phone), developed from 2014-2016 (when MS decided to kill the project). see: windowscentral.com/nokia-mclaren-review (I can't post links, blah)

62. htcisthebest

Posts: 440; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

Apple and revolutionlize in the same sentence? You gotta be kidding me.

60. fbarousse

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 30, 2016

mmm... I have seen that before... and before those Apple patent applications.... atap . google . com / soli / (Please add the https in front and get rid of the spaces...sorry for the trouble !) Among other companies also working on this kind of user interfase...

59. domfonusr

Posts: 1106; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Just as Apple is now inventing AR gestures and "revolutionizing" the computer interface, so, too, Apple invented the smartphone, the touchscreen, the fingerprint scanner, hybrid messaging, video-calling, the MP3 player, etc... Before Apple, none of these things "actually" existed. That is the power of Apple over its fans! In twenty years, when they write the history text books for our future children, Apple will be the one they all remember. Nobody else will even be remembered. Very often, it is the winners who write the history books. Apple is winning the narrative of the day, whether we like it, or not...

64. Kibzara

Posts: 126; Member since: Feb 24, 2016

EEEEEEK!! Wrong answer! First smartphone was made back in 1992, by IBM. Please, get out of Apples b*tt crack! And all the Nokia communicatiors and all symbian models, you just can't accept the fact that iPhone IS NOT a first smartphone. It is a trend setter, not an inovator! Name one device that apple invented by themselves! Just one!!

73. domfonusr

Posts: 1106; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

I was under the impression that my sarcasm was clear enough. Perhaps I was mistaken. While I did not own any smartphones before the iPhone came out, I am well aware that there were plenty of smartphones before the iPhone. I owned quite a few of them, like my personal favorite, the Nokia 9300, not to mention others. On the other hand, my point was that the 'truth distortion field' at Apple is in full effect, and holds great sway over many of their fans. To their credit, there are some Apple fans here who are not caught up in that problem, but the trend is for more and more of them to do so. The same can be said of some Samsung or Huawei fans, too. Sometimes I wonder how much Apple is paying people in certain segments of the media at large for the overly positive coverage and claims pro-Apple. My point has been, for years, that following the money is what is indicating who will survive this whole thing in the smartphone market globally. Apple is winning the profit-share fight by a mile, so it is going to be tough for the others to fight over the left over scraps for too many more years. I don't know what is necessarily going to happen, but right now it sure looks like Apple has the rest of the market by the gonads...

74. whatev

Posts: 2464; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Share with us your feelings and opinion about discovering yourself that android trolls have a low IQ as you could see on post #64

78. domfonusr

Posts: 1106; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

No thanks. I don't call others here dumb, no matter what they say.

54. hazard1

Posts: 244; Member since: Feb 11, 2017

PA keeps using that word "revolutionary" in reference to Apple. I do not think it means what they think it means.

53. tedkord

Posts: 17532; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I'm old enough to remember when the Galaxy S4 did this, and Apple fanatics called it a gimmick.

52. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1620; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Anyone remember that Samsung gimmick called Air Control that was part of the bloated touchwiz of the past? Not as advanced as this tech, but similar concept non the less.

45. whatev

Posts: 2464; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

So many people crying here, I don’t understand why they torture themselves like this :(

56. tedkord

Posts: 17532; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Pointing out that Apple is (once again) copying from Samsung is crying?

41. baldilocks

Posts: 1561; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Let me guess. They are going to let you have SEVEN rows of icons? :)

44. Kibzara

Posts: 126; Member since: Feb 24, 2016

Ofc, and a finger sensor gesture... Oh, wait, no fingerprint sensor! Oh, well...

37. Nexus4lifes

Posts: 303; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Apple to revolutionize the phone interface, again, and Androids may follow (air gestures, AR camera)? - Sure probably in 2050 i.e 25 years after Samsung or other android manufacturers already had them for

33. Nionx

Posts: 208; Member since: Oct 30, 2017

If this be true, then apple has peaked my interest. I miss my Kinect navigation, this sounds like a good alternative if done right

30. Kibzara

Posts: 126; Member since: Feb 24, 2016

lol, i see what you're doing here, PA team... (fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fapple team)

29. Phantom1031

Posts: 267; Member since: Aug 02, 2014

This article is just plain stupidity by the author, apple is not going to implement anything which this author mentions because they produce very simple devices, which are according to them easy to use, each year this hype is created about apple but nothing is produced, plain boring phones only

27. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1489; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

A bit quick to suck Apple's c*ck on this one, aren't we? When Apple implements and presents this stuff they're likely to get sued left, right and center by companies that they've been in touch with over the years, looked at what they had and then blatantly copied their hard work without paying a dime. It's how Apple goes about doing things. Present it as revolutionary, but in fact no original thought went into it from anyone employed by Apple. Same thing happened with Touch ID, Face ID and loads of other things.

24. japkoslav

Posts: 1553; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Didn't we saw this tech in Leap and many many other devices? Sure it looks cool, but it's simply not ergonomic to use for longer than 5 minutes. Not to mention MS and Kinect :-D

23. DRS1977

Posts: 681; Member since: May 27, 2015

Apple just stealing ideas from the Galaxy S4, like they always do. All Apple does is steal ideas or buy companies with great ideas. It is there M.O.

19. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Yes we have never seen hovering interaction on a phone before...........................Back then it was a gimmick.

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....

11. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

No need to try it, or waiting leak of a working prototype, or even know how they'll actually implement it. Just from that doodle, they already decided that it will be game-changer, lol.. Just look that no one even care about 3Dtouch right now..

14. maherk

Posts: 7101; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

You do have point, it's too early to tell whether they'll really revolutionize their UI, but even if they don't, we know for sure that the majority of Android OEMs will clone that thing. The way I see things, is that Android OEMs(not all of them) act like Apple fanboys, they love everything about Apple and will follow them blindly.

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Not sure it's love. Especially Chinese brands just copy anything that is or perhaps will be a big thing. They copy Samsung as well since it's the best sold Android brand in the world. So has nothing to do with fanboying, just a lack of own vision.

22. maherk

Posts: 7101; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

It's not even about Chinese brands anymore, when Google, OnePlus, LG, and even HTC doing their fair share of copying. Sony and Samsung are two of the very few big OEMs that are sticking to their own vision.

25. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

OnePlus is Chinese ;) But I can't blame them, it's not like they are selling well. Not in the big numbers like Samsung and iPhone. But they are all copying design features (and OS features as well).

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