iPhone 8: Augmented 3D reality and avatars?

THE new iPhone could boast a game-changing 3D camera and allow for facial recognition and augmented reality applications, according to new leaks.

KGI Securities' top Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, claims the front camera on the new OLED iPhone will have a "revolutionary" infrared module that can sense the 3D space in front of it.

The combination of the front camera and a 3D sensor would allow iPhone users to generate a 3D selfie and create digital avatars of themselves to be used in augmented reality, reports 9to5Mac.

The report gives credence to fans and pundits who are expecting big things from the new device which marks the highly anticipated 10th anniversary of the iPhone.

The fact that Apple would be trying hard to develop AR capabilities for its devices makes sense given how bullish the company's CEO is about the potential of augmented reality.

"I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone," Tim Cook said in an interview earlier this month. "I think AR is that big, it's huge."

It would certainly give an edge to Apple which is believed to be ahead of Google's Android in developing 3D algorithms.

According to reports, the camera system will be fuelled by PrimeSense algorithms, which Apple acquired in 2013.

The larger version of the iPhone 7 already has a form of depth detection with the inclusion of dual rear cameras to give photos a DSLR look. However the infrared transmitter and receiver touted for the iPhone 8 would be significantly more sophisticated.

The latest speculation follows rumours that Apple may move away from its Touch ID fingerprint scanner in favour of iris or facial recognition technology.

This week it was announced that Apple bought Israeli facial recognition technology start-up RealFace.

Iris or facial scans could be a defining security feature of the new iPhone and could be used to bolster the security of Apple Pay - provided people are happy to scan their face every time they make a purchase.

Apple has stayed characteristically tight-lipped and has refused to comment on the reports.

But the immense buzz around the iPhone 8 has led market analysts to warn that expectations around the iPhone 8 may be too high, as Apple's share price climbs on the back of the optimism.

The company is expected to unveil three phones in September.

Two nearly identical phones with screens of different sizes, and one super premium phone that is pegged to cost about $1500.

News Corp Australia

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