It's not the first time we are hearing that Samsung is working on a TrueDepth camera competitor to rival Apple's Face ID and Animoji features, but now we have a device where it will eventually be planted - none other than the Galaxy S10. This one is shaping up to be a crazy handset, with a 7nm chipset, 5G connectivity, in-display finger scanner, and whatever else Samsung throws at it that will stick.
Well, it seems that Samsung is throwing a structured light transmitter and receiver, a front-facing camera, and a time of flight/proximity sensor. These are the components needed for the TrueDepth camera set that are clustered in the iPhone X's "notch" at the top. The structured light sensors collect depth information which is combined with images taken with the front-facing camera to produce a 3D map using software algorithms.
Surprise, surprise, Samsung, which is in cahoots with Israeli camera startups on dual camera and other shenanigans, has picked their brains again, this time for its Face ID module competitor. The Israelis from Mantis Vision are apparently partnering with the Koreans from Namuga to provide Samsung 3D-sensing camera modules for the Galaxy S10. Namuga is behind Intel’s RealSense AR camera kit, while Mantis Vision was fronted $10 million by Samsung on developing camera modules for a Project Tango AR effort that Google scuttled not long ago.
Back in January, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, which makes the cameras for the Galaxy line of phones, mentioned that "the company is closely working with 3-D sensing solution developers for new growth opportunities," and one of these is seemingly an answer to Apple's Face ID. Currently, the Intelligent Scan and AR Emoji on the Galaxy S9 behave like an afterthought compared to Apple's 3D-scanning biometry and Animoji, but next year this might all change with the Galaxy S10.
In addition, the source report reiterates one more time that, while the Note 9 won't have in-display finger scanner, Samsung's efforts in that respect will bear fruit... well, in the Galaxy S10, again, ain't that clever marketing, and Samsung is exploring all available avenues, optical and ultrasonic, to make that a reality for the 10th anniversary edition of its flagship S-line.
source: TheBell (translated)