The iPhone X, even if you can’t see it, can do nifty tricks like Animoji and Face ID all thanks to invisible lasers. Well, look for (or don’t) more of that invisible magic in the future.
Apple just invested in a new, high-tech facility to be located in Sherman Texas and run by Finisar to the ‘iTunes’ of $390 million (about £292m, AU$512m).
This money will allow Finisar to increase R&D and high-volume production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers already in the iPhone X and AirPods.
The iPhone X uses these advanced lasers to power the TrueDepth camera for Aminimoji, Face ID and bokeh-rich Portrait mode selfies.
AirPods take advantage of these lasers for proximity sensors, stopping and starting music every time you take out an AirPod from your ear.
Here’s where Apple’s statement gets interesting
Apple didn’t reveal how its large investment will benefit future iPhones, AirPods or any other devices on the horizon, but it did tease new laser possibilities.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Finisar over the next several years to push the boundaries of VCSEL technology and the applications they enable,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, in a statement today.
How will Apple and Finisar push boundaries of their already high-tech lasers? Apple seems laser-focused on augmented reality, so we’re anticipating more advanced AR cameras from future iPhones or those rumored Apple AR glasses.