While phones with triple cameras are all the rage as we head into 2019, Samsung surprised everyone with a quad-camera phone. Now, Huawei seems to be working on something new. The second largest smartphone maker (by units sold) is reportedly developing a new smartphone with a 3D ToF camera, similar to that of the OPPO R17 Pro.
As per a report by Bloomberg, the new smartphone is internally code-named Huawei Princeton. More surprisingly, according to people with knowledge of the matter, the handset will be announced this month itself and go on sale after a few weeks, reported the publication. It is well known that Huawei will be introducing the Nova 4 in China soon, and some leaks have pointed that it bears a triple camera set up at the back. While not certain, it could very well be that the Huawei Nova 4.
Huawei Princeton: 3D Camera Details
In essence, the new smartphone with the 3D ToF camera will be able to take three-dimensional pictures of objects and persons. According to sources that requested anonymity, the new sensors are being made by Sony Corp. and it works by measuring light that bounces off objects. Besides creating 3D renders, the new sensor will be capable of other interesting applications too such as augmented reality, hand gestures and more.
At the moment, details regarding the 3D camera are pretty scarce but similar implementations have been seen before. For example, Sony itself had Xperia smartphones not long ago in the past that could map an object in 3D. Apple also uses 3D sensors in the iPhone X for mapping faces, however, that sensor uses a different technology called Structured Light that works at short distances. Sony’s new 3D sensors, also called time-of-flight (ToF) sensors, work on longer distances, said one of the sources. While all this sound familiar, a senior analyst in Tokyo suggested that this technology is futuristic and could be revolutionary.
“This is technology that has never been seen before and, at the extreme, has the potential to change how we view the world,” said Yusuke Toyoda, a sensors analyst at Fuji Chimera Research Inc. in Tokyo.
Huawei Princeton: When Could it Launch?
OPPO’s R17 Pro features a triple camera setup in which the third sensor is a TOF lens that is capable of similar features described above. While it is not clear which sensors OPPO has used in its upcoming phone, it is possible that Huawei’s implementation could be an improved version of it. As per current information, Huawei will not only launch the Huawei Princeton model thi month, but several models next year as well, with the same technology. However, plans could still change as Huawei still continues to develop the sensor.
Sony Corp. is the biggest manufacturer of camera sensors and the introduction of 3D sensors could mean billions more in revenue for the Toky-based smartphone maker. The Japanese giant recently bought Softkinetic in 2015, a Belgian startup that specializes in these TOF sensors and may very well have perfected the new iterations of the sensor.
Huawei will be announcing the Huawei Nova 4 on December 17 and this could very well be the same device being talked about here. For more info on the handset, check out the link here.