Why is the location of the iPhones fourth camera given to lidar?

 Why is the location of the iPhones fourth camera given to lidar?

Before the launch of the new generation iPhone this year, many people speculated that the iPhone 12promax would be equipped with a fourth camera. Unexpectedly, the iPhone 12pro series placed a lidar (laser radar) in the precious fourth camera position.

It has always been Apples common sense not to play cards according to common sense.

1u3001 What is lidar

Looking vertically, the round black area at the bottom right of the camera module of iPhone 12pro series is lidar

Aside from the jargon, the lidar on the iPhone 12 is a tiny device that can detect object distance and record depth information, about the size of a mobile phone camera.

At work, lidar can realize two important functions.

First, measure the approximate distance between the object and the mobile phone.

Second, record the depth information of objects within the projection range.

At present, the lidar range given by apple is up to five meters. That is to say, the iPhone 12pro series mobile phones equipped with lidar can theoretically measure and record the distance and depth information of about 5 meters.

2u3001 What is the difference between lidar and TOF?

When it comes to estimating object distance and recording depth information, many Android manufacturers have installed TOF (time of flight) sensors on some models to realize these two functions.

For example, p40pro has a 3D depth camera (TOF), which can deeply perceive the depth information of objects and achieve large-scale depth effect.

At present, some mobile phone manufacturers mostly use itof (indirect time of flight sensor), while lidar belongs to dtof (direct time of flight sensor).

Although both itof and lidar are TOF, the difference is not small.

First, the signals are different.

Ito f sends out the light signal which is modulated by sine wave and the intensity of light and dark changes regularly. Lidar is emitting a laser beam.

Dtof principle

Second, the principle of estimating distance is different.

Itof estimates the distance from its emission to its reflection by sensing the difference between sinusoidal light signals. Lidar is a laser that measures distance directly.

Itof principle

The signal of itof is easy to be interfered. The measurement accuracy decreases with the distance, and the measurement is relatively slow, so it is suitable for ranging in centimeter range.

Lidar has a strong anti-interference ability, and the measurement accuracy does not decrease with the distance, so it is more suitable for long-distance ranging.

Finally, itof is easier to be miniaturized, and dtof integration is more difficult to be miniaturized, so there are obvious differences in business scenarios between the two. Itof is mostly used in mobile phones, and dtof is more commonly used in large devices such as automobiles and UAVs.

Automobile radar

3u3001 Why Apple chose lidar

Maybe the iPhone will become a 456 camera phone one day, but at the critical juncture of being discussed about is iPhone photography lagging behind? choosing to give lidar the precious fourth camera position is enough to show how much Apple attaches importance to the future layout.

What does Apple want?

On the official webpage of iPad Pro 2020, apple gave a straightforward answer. Lidar is mainly serving AR (augmented reality) at this stage.

At the moment when mobile phone photography almost reached the ceiling, apple chose a different way from other manufacturers. Instead of using high pixels and multiple optical zoom, apple added lidar to let users record depth information..

One is the reality virtualization, that is, AR, which can record all kinds of information of real things with camera system and lidar, and then display them on the screen in a virtual way to observe from any angle, which also breaks the limitation of time and space.

Without the depth information of iPhone 12, it is impossible to watch virtual iPhone with AR

With depth information, the photo is no longer a plane

Dynamic Emoji can be regarded as a simplified version of VR. Virtual characters have facial depth information of real people

The movie player number one shows the fusion of reality and virtual reality. It is recommended to eat in this article

What is mobile phone for human society?

This question is difficult to answer. To a small extent, it is just a convenient communication tool. To a large extent, it has a profound impact on human society.

Looking back on the human history after the emergence of mobile phones, the common demand of users for information processing and exchange has always been decentralization.

At the beginning, the common demand of users is to improve the efficiency of information exchange, so the core function of mobile phone is to make calls and send short messages. The central nodes of information exchange fixed telephone, mail, fax, post and telecommunications, which are bound by lines, have been completely marginalized, and now they are only a supplementary tool in special situations.

It is precisely because Apples full touch-screen product iPhone can accurately and efficiently solve the pain points of users common needs in the second stage at the right time, so that apple can beat Nokia and become the first comprehensive market player.

Now, what are the common needs of users?

Users need to further decentralize, not only to voice, but also to record and transmit their individual civilization as far as possible, so that their individual civilization can be recorded in the history of human civilization.

IPhone ad shows iPhones life recording function

A long time ago, all living beings had no sense of historical existence, and could not master the tools to record themselves. The emergence of mobile phones makes the data stored on the server become personal history books. These tiny personal history books like ants play an unparalleled influence, and jointly constitute a human great historical book - the common big database of human society. Individuals are no longer nameless in history that can be directly ignored, nor can they be written off with a stroke of a pen So and so, but in the common great history books of mankind, one by one, live and live.

5u3001 Immortality starts with deep information

For ordinary users, the intuitive help brought by lidar is not very obvious at present. It belongs to the degree of better, no and little influence.

The potential benefits it brings are very obvious. If the conditions and camera App allow, every scene, every moment, every person you meet, every flower you see, every tableware you touch, and every self portrait you take can be recorded by lidar. As long as the opportunity and technology are mature and the amount of data is large enough, then sound, image and behavior can be combined Data as like as two peas can create a virtual world and virtual self in the server, just like the real world and real self, and even wait for the day when technology level is high enough to create a self in the real world.

If the robots in western world have a corresponding real human, then getting the in-depth information of real people is the first step in making robots

If one day technology is more advanced, this virtual self can be given a set of human algorithm. After a hundred years, some people will miss us

Source: AI fan Er Author: Zhu Hai, editor in charge: Mao Xinsi_ NBJS11624