Android phones to have depth sensing cameras in 2018

According to details released by Qualcomm, next years crop of Android flagship phones could have depth sensing abilities. The features are part of the next generation Snapdragon processor that will be part of next year’s flagship Android phones.

To be clear, none of these features are groundbreaking, and we have seen them in some form or another in current phones. However, this time around, all of these features will be available off-the-shelf for any OEM to implement. The features will be part of the second generation Spectra image processor.

The new processor will improve functions like video stabilizations and noise reduction in audio and video. However, the biggest change is the addition of iris-scanning, depth-sensing, and active depth-sensing to its feature set.

Qualcomm is hoping that the Active and passive depth-sensing will enable all sorts of AR and VR capabilities for all phones. The passive depth sensing uses two cameras to figure out the depth of objects. The iPhone uses a similar method for its Portrait mode.

The active depth-sensing will use an IR illuminator along with an IR sensor to get a better depth map of objects. There are two advantages to this method: Firstly, it will be far more accurate than the two camera setup, and Second, it will work equally well in low-light and dark conditions.

Baking these features into its processors frees up a lot of work for OEM’s, especially those that do not have the resources like Samsung to design and manufacture secondary processors for their mobile phones.