Citing a source familiar with Apple's plans, Fast Company reports that Apple's iPhone 8 will incorporate an advanced system of 3D lasers on the back designed to enhance the user experience when running augmented reality apps. The 3D lasers will reportedly work in union with the iPhone 8 camera and will provide improved depth detection along with improved autofocus functionality when taking photos.
While we've already seen how capable ARKit is on existing iPhone models, we can only imagine how much more seamless things will be with a more advanced camera system.
The report reads in part:
Right now, ARKit apps rely only on the single iPhone camera to picture and measure the real world into which digital content is placed. While the resulting experience is already surprisingly good, the addition of a 3D laser system on the back of the phone would dramatically improve the depth measurement part, and would make the AR even more lifelike.
Not surprisingly, the report adds that the inclusion of the aforementioned 3D lasers isn't yet a sure thing and "depends on the progress the Apple engineers make in integrating the laser system into the phone." In other words, you might want to take this report with a requisite grain of salt. Nonetheless, given the big push Apple appears intent on making into the Augmented Reality space, it stands to reason that Apple will do everything it can to ensure that the feature is ready to go in time for the iPhone 8 launch.
Additionally, it's worth noting that this isn't the first time we've heard rumblings of Apple incorporating 3D laser technology into its next-gen iPhone. Over the past several months, a handful of analysts, citing their own sources within Apple's supply chain, have expressed the same. Incidentally, it's widely believed that Apple will use a similar type of technology on the iPhone 8's front-facing cameras for facial recognition purposes.
Now as to when Apple will officially release the iPhone 8, that remains subject to a number of conflicting reports. While some analysts anticipate that the device will arrive in stores sometime in late September, the most recent whispers from the rumor mill are pointing towards a release sometime in mid-late October.