Dual Camera Smartphones Expected to Inspire New 'Killer Apps'

Spurred by industry leaders like Apple and Huawei, adoption of dual-camera or dual-lens smartphones is expected to grow significantly over the next few years. "We think the dual-cam rally is more about when than if," Morgan Stanley analyst Jasmine Lu wrote in a recent research report.

Lu believes dual cameras will catch on due to their impressive image quality and for future capabilities like 3D object mapping and depth analysis, all of which have the potential to lead to "killer apps" from smartphone manufacturers and third-party developers.

huaweip9

Dual cameras in the Huawei P9, image via VentureBeat

"We believe dual-cam not only helps narrow the image quality gap with SLR cameras but also allows developers to design new killer apps by leveraging in-depth analysis/mapping for 3D objects," Lu wrote. "We expect dual-cam to trigger a multiyear upgrade cycle for the optical industry."

Rumors suggest Apple is working on a version of the iPhone 7 Plus that includes dual-lens camera technology acquired in its LinX purchase last year. LinX worked on smartphone cameras with the potential to cut down on noise, boost light sensitivity, enable refocusing, and improve the level of detail in captured images, narrowing the quality gap between DSLRs and mobile device cameras.

LinX camera modules were also capable of creating detailed depth maps to create 3D models. Such capabilities in the iPhone could lead to apps that are able to do impressive things, from mapping the layout of a room for envisioning new furniture layouts to 3D scanning a real-world object for printing or manipulation purposes. New augmented and mixed reality games that merge real-world objects with virtual objects are also a possibility with that kind of technology. Apps, says Lu, are a key factor that could heavily impact the appeal of dual camera devices.

Early dual camera smartphones may not focus on advanced features like 3D depth mapping, but as dual camera adoption expands and technology improves, it is a logical direction for dual camera evolution.

Apple, with the iPhone 7 Plus, and Huawei, with the upcoming P9, are expected to be the main drivers of dual camera adoption in 2016. The iPhone 7 Plus won't be available until September, but the P9, images of which were shared this morning by VentureBeat, is expected in the first half of 2016. Rumors suggest the camera will enable features like post-capture refocus and simulated aperture adjustment.

Top Rated Comments

JohnApples Avatar
64 months ago
After seeing the image quality, lowlight performance, and optical zoom capabilities of a dual lens system, I'll be very disappointed if the iPhone 7 doesn't have it. This needs to be a key feature for the 7, and not just a "7 Plus Pro" (if people are actually believing that). Otherwise, what else will the 7 bring new to the table?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Retrofire Avatar
64 months ago

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_3D-enabled_mobile_phones ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_3D-enabled_mobile_phones')

The first mobile phone with a 3D camera was available in 2007! It is almost 2017! :eek:



Of course Samsung stole the idea from Apple in 2007! /s
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bladerunner2000 Avatar
64 months ago
Don't care for killer apps. Give me killer photo quality.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RickInHouston Avatar
64 months ago
Days of the killer app are dead. Killer app has jumped the shark.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
64 months ago
Well if you told analysts back in 2007 that in less than a decade we'd have phones with desktop-class CPUs and console-level GPUs, I imagine they'd be saying a pretty similar thing. Sadly we've got an App Store predominantly full of addictive freemium pay-to-play rubbish games.

Hardware innovation only goes so far towards inspiring great things.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ignatius345 Avatar
64 months ago

Don't care for killer apps. Give me killer photo quality.

If image quality is paramount, consider getting a dedicated camera. Smartphone cameras are incredible now and have very impressive in-phone processing and such -- but they're working against the physics of forcing light through a tiny lens onto a tiny sensor. Bigger lens/sensor = more light = more speed/more options.

I'm sure phone camera quality will keep moving forward, and dual lenses/sensors will certainly help with that, but it's not like DSLR (or mirrorless) cameras are just sitting still either. They're leveraging the same advances in image processing that phones are and getting better all the time as well.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
maxresdefault

Microsoft Touts Surface Pro 7 as 'The Better Choice' Over MacBook Pro in New Ad

Saturday January 23, 2021 11:02 am PST by
Microsoft yesterday shared a new ad on YouTube titled "Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Better Choice," in which the company compares its tablet computer to Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, as spotted by MSPoweruser. The ad highlights the Surface Pro 7's touchscreen and included stylus as opposed to only a "little bar" (the Touch Bar) on the MacBook Pro. Other advantages of the Surface Pro 7...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...