(Pocket-lint) – A new patent suggests that Apple is working on integrating lasers with upcoming iPhone and Apple Watch models.
It sounds farfetched, initially, but digging a bit deeper reveals a whole host of potential applications that are quite exciting.
The patent describes Horizontal Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers (or HCSEL) that would be positioned under the display of future iPhone and Apple Watch models.
There are many ways in which these lasers could be utilised, firstly, as a way to make Face ID and Touch ID more robust and secure.
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More interestingly, the lasers could be used to detect particulate matter in the air and analyse the overall air quality.
In addition, the patent hints at Apple’s AR ambitions stating that the lasers could be used to “gather performance metrics for the user’s interaction with an augmented or virtual world.”
There’s mention of fitness features, too. The data collected may be “used to provide insights into a user’s general wellness, or may be used as positive feedback to individuals using technology to pursue wellness goals.”
Finally, the patent mentions integrating HCSELs into camera functionality, hinting that there’s a promise of improving camera features with this tech – akin to how the iPhone 13 Pro utilises LIDAR for focusing.
Now, that’s a lot of features and whether Apple implements any of them at all is another matter entirely. But, it’s exciting tech, nonetheless, and we’re hoping to see it in action.
Writing by Luke Baker.