Apple grabs two-year lead in 3-D sensing race

Most Android phones will have to wait until 2019 to duplicate the 3D sensing feature behind Apple’s Face ID security, three major parts producers have told Reuters, handicapping Samsung along with others on a technology in which can be set to be worth billions in revenue over the next few years.

The development of completely new features for the estimated 1.5 billion smart phones shipped annually has been at the heart of the battle for global market share over the past decade, with Apple, bolstered by its huge R&D budget, often leading.

When the iPhone 5S launched that has a fingerprint-sensing home button in September 2013, for example, the idea took its biggest rival Samsung until just April of the next year to deliver its own inside the Galaxy S5, with others following soon after.

The 3D sensing technology can be anticipated to enhance the next generation of phones, enabling accurate facial recognition as well as secure biometrics for payments, gesture sensing, along with immersive shopping along with gaming experiences.

Tech research house Gartner predicts in which by 2021, 40 percent of smartphones will be equipped with 3D cameras, which can also be used for so-called augmented reality, or AR, in which digital objects cling tightly to images of the real world.

“This specific kind of functionality can be going to be very important for AR,” said Gartner analyst Jon Erensen. “I think in which can be something where you don’t want to get left behind.”

According to parts manufacturers Viavi Solutions Inc, Finisar Corp along with Ams AG, bottlenecks on key parts will mean mass adoption of 3D sensing will not happen until next year, disappointing earlier expectations.

in which means in which China’s Huawei, Xiaomi along with others could be a total of almost two years behind Apple, which launched Face ID with its iPhone X anniversary phone last September.

In particular, Android producers are struggling to source vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs, a core part of Apple’s Face ID hardware.

“the idea can be going to take them a lot of time, the Android-based customers, to secure capacity throughout the whole supply chain,” said Bill Ong, senior director of investor relations via Viavi, seen as the only major supplier of optical filters needed for the 3D sensing modules.

“We may have a potential introduction of a second handset maker into 3D sensing at the end of This specific calendar year. (nevertheless) the volumes would likely be very low. In 2019 you clearly will see at least two or more android-based phones,” he added.

Ong declined to name the company in which might launch an Android phone with 3D face recognition This specific year nevertheless said in which Viavi was in talks with all the major smart phone makers to supply the filters.

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