There are already plenty of phones on the market with a 3D depth-sensing time-of-flight (ToF) rear sensors, and Chinese warriors like the Oppo R17 Pro and Vivo NEX Dual Display edition were the first to use them, albeit with dubious practicality. 

The ToF craze really took off with the Galaxy S10 family, though, and Samsung is readying the S20 family with depth sensors on the back as well. How about Apple? Well, it’s been rumored for a while to really kickstart the AR/VR rollout with the 5G iPhones in 2020, and you need ToF sensors for that.
The first one on an Apple device won’t be on an iPhone, though, but rather on the venerable iPad, reports Korean media today, although it doesn’t specify which one. Given that the upcoming iPad Pro 2020 refresh already leaked out in credible CAD-based renders with a big camera island and three lenses on the back, we’d wager to guess that this will be the first time-of-flight application on an Apple gear.

The new iPad Pro is expected to the unveiled at an event in March, so not much to wait before we see what Apple has in mind for the actual application of augmented and virtual reality. It has been waiting in the wings for the field to take off and it never really did, but the company has obviously determined that it can do better than the competition which struggled to find practical use for the ToF cameras on the back of their devices.

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The TrueDepth camera setup on the iPhones uses structured light to create 30,000 points and develop your 3D face matrix, while ToF cameras use a sensor and auxilliary light kit that can detect and map up to ten times that in both points of light and distance. 

Thus, it creates more opportunities in 3D space sensing of the world around you, and we can’t wait to see what Apple’s rumored time of flight sensor will do. After all, the company’s AR/VR platform has been years in the making, and is likely to see the light of day very soon on a commercial device.





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