Aggressive innovation lets Apple continue pushing its AR strategy with 3D sensors

March 25, 2020 | Case Study

Technologies capable of capturing 3D information are advantageous for volumetric and immersive AR/VR applications. They enable 1) scanning real-world objects to create digital 3D models for the purpose of projecting those elsewhere and 2) measuring surrounding geometry for better localization and mapping before placing it in a virtual model. There are three major approaches to 3D sensing: stereo vision, structured light, and time of flight (ToF). The stereo method is quite mature but requires using heavy computation to stitch images from several cameras and is sensitive to ambient illumination and brightness. ToF is at the core of lidar but suited to medium to long ranges. While ToF is being actively improved, the accuracy is range-dependent.

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