Sony, one of the largest camera sensor maker both for dedicated cameras and the smartphone industry has teased the future of cameras. In this future by the company, the camera-equipped devices will come with 3D Time of Flight (ToF) sensors to add another dimension to the images captured. The vision of this future was showcased in a 2 minute and 21-second long video with the title “Life with DepthSense” that the official YouTube channel of Sony posted on the video sharing platform. As part of the video, the company is showing off how ToF sensors will work to add depth in still images or even a scene.
This video was initially spotted by Japanese website SumahoInfo and then later reported by GSMArena. According to the report, this video likely works as a teaser that the company will bring 3D ToF technology to its future devices. The future devices that we are referring to likely include the upcoming Sony Xperia XZ4. The report also pointed out that the previous reports which indicated that Sony has already started working on making its 3D cameras for future devices that will be based on lasers.
The cameras will use laser pulses to measure how far an object is in the real world by calculating how long it took the laser to bounce back. The report also hinted at something with the name “Xperia α1” which sounds like Xperia alpha 1. For people who may not know, Alpha is the mirror-less camera lineup that the company offers in the market.
The report states that it is likely to be the name of the camera that will come in future Xperia smartphones or probably a new name for the Xperia XZ4 though nothing is confirmed at the time of writing. On the specification side of things, the report states that this camera will offer autofocus speeds of within 0.02 seconds along with real-time tracking.
This autofocus speed is not new as Sony claims to deliver this speed in its latest Alpha-branded mirrorless camera, the Sony α6400. But it surely will beat the 0.03 autofocus speed that it currently offers in its latest camera flagship. The video that sported ToF sensors shows some potential benefits of using ToF technology in future devices including messaging, AR gaming, taking selfies, and even shopping. Other things showcased in the video include 3D virtual graffiti that your family and friends can leave for you including drawing or notes.