iPhone 12 steals its next big upgrade from Google Pixel phones

Apple patent hints at iPhone 12 air gestures

iPhone 12 concept
(Image credit: svetapple.sk)

The iPhone 12 release is fast approaching - although given the current circumstances, both the reveal event and the launch will be delayed, while the four models' release will be staggered to allow for production hurdles. 

Rumours about the smartphone's features have been bolstered by various patents Apple has filed, that may make it into the iPhone 12, or will roll out in its next flagship - or not at all - but the latest one that's been spotted suggests Apple is taking inspiration directly from Google.   

Patently Apple reports that Apple has filed a patent for a ToF camera suggesting that its next iPhone will have a depth sensor on the front. This can be used for Face ID, to introduce 3D camera effects like the Samsung Galaxy S20 series use of the feature, or for controlling your smartphone with gestures. 

Google utilised gestures for users to operate certain functions of their phones with the Pixel 4 and Project Soli, allowing them to play or pause music, skip songs, or silence alarms with the wave of a hand - and it seems that Apple could be jumping on the bandwagon too.     

We're expecting the premium iPhone models to sport a LiDAR sensor on the rear, but this is the first we've heard of similar tech being housed on the front.   

As well as air gestures, and improved Face ID, 3D scanning allows for camera effects like bokeh, as well as better AR experiences. We don't know if the new sensor will be present on any of the iPhone 12 models, or if the tech is being introduced in next year's iPhone 13, but it'll be interesting to see if Apple follows Google's suit and uses the technology to create a fuss-free gesture--controlled experience.

Source: Patently Apple via Tom's Guide

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Shabana Arif

Shabana worked at T3.com as News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.