Huawei Said to Debut 3-D Camera Phone Powered by Sony Sensors
Huawei is planning to unveil a new phone with a camera capable of taking three-dimensional pictures, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.
The phone, internally code-named Princeton, will be announced this month and go on sale within a few weeks, according to one of the people who requested anonymity. The technology uses sensors developed by Sony that can accurately measure distances by bouncing light off surfaces, another person said.
The new feature, dubbed “3D Camera” at Huawei, comes at a critical juncture for the smartphone industry, which is facing cooling global demand as consumers find fewer reasons to upgrade to new phones. Huawei is aiming to boost sales and win market share from competitors by offering users the ability to generate 3-D models of themselves and the environment in real-time, and share it with others.
Besides generating pictures that can be viewed from numerous angles, Huawei’s new camera can create 3-D models of people and objects that can be used by augmented-reality apps, according to one of the people. The new camera will also let developers control apps and games in new ways, such as hand gestures, the person said, who added that some of the details may change as developers work with the technology.
Huawei will probably feature the camera in more than one phone model, including some slated for later in 2019, according to the people, who said the specific plans could still change. For Sony 3-D cameras could generate billions in additional revenue from the sale of its new components. The company accelerated the development of the technology after buying Softkinetic in 2015, combining the Belgian startup’s time-of-flight technology with its own semiconductor manufacturing prowess.