Apple’s most recent iPhones are currently preparing to make the jump into augmented reality with the launch of iOS 11 and the ARKit platform. But, this being Apple, we can’t help but wonder what the company has in store for the next iteration of its iconic device. A supposed recent leak may have just revealed what’s on the way.
You probably heard about last week’s apparently accidental leak of an internal software update for the HomePod, an upcoming smart speaker. The update was meant to be issued to Apple employees only, but its public release has seen people pick apart the fine details of the firmware, uncovering a reference to ‘D22’, which is thought to be the codename for the next iPhone. There was even the reveal of the icon above, which suggests an all-screen phone and the removal of the home button. Dig a bit deeper, though, and there’s some interesting possibilities for AR too.
Specifically, there’s reference to a depth-sensing camera on the front of the device, as spotted by The Guardian. In other words, the camera you use for selfies might soon have some AR capabilities of its own. It may be that the phone uses this new feature for the long-rumored facial ID scanning to unlock phones (which could replace the fingerprint sensor), but it might also be used for AR overlays for Snapchat like-apps that could perhaps bring ARKit’s positional information into play too.
The combination of AR for both front and rear-facing cameras could provide the next iPhone with a seamless AR experience. Personally, we like the idea of Pokemon Go selfies with Pikachu sitting on our shoulders.
This is all, of course, just a rumor, but we’re still expecting the new iPhone to be revealed during an Apple event in September. Even if the new phone isn’t a big leap forward for AR, the arrival of iOS 11 will be.