As Apple buy PrimeSense, the team behind the Xbox Kinect camera, it could suggest that the popular brand are looking to add 3D awareness to the next iPhone.
These days, everything is a back of the box feature. If it’s not the phone’s ‘many gigabytes of RAM’, or the fancy computer chip that the phone maker in question announced at their annual conference, then it’s the gimmicks: the extra photo filters that they’ve included this time round, or the single megapixel that they’ve added to the phone’s camera. With plenty of phone’s marketing strategies sounding like that, the need to diversify and have a tech overhaul is even clearer and with Apple buying PrimeSense, the team who made the Xbox’s Kinect camera, it could suggest that the next iPhone is set to improve upon current technology by offering 3D awareness.
Critically, what ‘3D awareness’ is not, is the ability to display 3D pictures – whether that be 3D movies or otherwise – on a smartphone. While plenty of TVs have the capability, it doesn’t look like Apple’s set to take after Nintendo’s 3DS (a handheld games console that offers 3D graphics without the use of glasses) by adding that feature to their iPhones any time soon. But, what it does suggest, is that Apple are looking to increase the iPhone’s awareness. One thing we know about PrimeSense, the developer that they just acquired, is that they are or were working on a mobile chip that could bring some Kinect functionality to a mobile device. What this means is that Kinect features such as facial recognition and indoor space mapping could make their way to phones.
Facial recognition could be a biggie as iPhone’s are a bold, branded and extremely popular target for thieves and being able to identify when the owner of the phone is or isn’t using it could be a great asset to just about every iPhone user and it would also align well with the iPhone 5S’ fingerprint sensor. The chipset that PrimeSense are said to be working on could also bring the ability to understand gestures to the iPhone, putting Apple’s smartphone in line with the Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that offers the user hand based controls. The S4 also demonstrates its tech prowess by providing users with such features as dimming or lighting the screen depending on whether or not you’re looking at it.
Meanwhile, features that the iPhone already has, such as Siri helping you out or reminding you of tasks depending on your location, could also be bolstered, for example, by reminding you to set your alarm when you switch off a light to go to sleep, or by going into standby mode when the phone realises that it’s been placed in a pocket. No matter what comes out of Apple and PrimeSense’s partnership, one thing’s for sure and that’s that whatever happens next will surely be a very big technological deal.
We’ll keep you posted once we know more.