Daniel Sinclair @_DanielSinclair Building for young people. Not reading @danielsunread. Lurking behind likes and thinking about social media, communication, & China. Sep. 12, 2019 1 min read

The interesting thing about the iPhone 11 is that it doesn't feature a telephoto lens, like you would have expected. Just Wide and Ultra Wide. It seems like a platform choice designed to support AR.

When Apple introduced the iPhone X, they described the Telephoto lens as a calibrated AR-supporting technology. I think the iPhone 11 is merely adopting Ultra Wide because the Telephoto didn't pan out as expected.

That may be because Apple sees the Ultra Wide lenses as being able to collect more scene information. Whereas the Telephoto was supposed to make SLAM more accurate, it may not have moved the needle. Broader (but still calibrated) visual scene info may be proving more valuable.

It may also be the case that Apple doesn't think visual SLAM will get them to their ambitious AR goals. The rumors are of course that a future iPhone (possibly originally planned to be this one) will feature a rear laser depth sensor, far more accurate than TrueDepth.


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