Not many Android phones to come with 3D sensing technology in 1H18

Not many Android-based smartphones launched in the first half of 2018 will come with 3D sensing technology due to technological and cost barriers, according to industry sources.

In addition to current low yield rates for the production of 3D sensing modules, China-based smartphone vendors are currently focusing on clearing out their inventories forcing them to postpone their plans to incorporate new applications and technologies such as wireless and fast charging, 3D sensing and biometrics identification, said the sources.

Qualcomm was reported previously to team up with Himax Technologies and Truly Opto-electronics to develop integrated 3D sensing solutions for smartphone vendors such as Xiaomi Technology and Oppo.

However, such a collaborative effort appears to have cooled down recently due to lukewarm responses from Android smartphone vendors, indicated the sources.

Instead of adopting 3D sensing technology, smartphone vendors now intend to optimize AI functionality for their new models, including those for voice interface, video recording and IoT applications, the sources revealed.

Qualcomm and MediaTek both have added more AI capabilities to their next-generation platform solutions that will enable smartphone vendors to effectively upgrade the hardware specifications of their new models, said the sources, adding that new smartphones with AI technology are expected to hit the market in the second half of 2018.

In fact, MediaTek has unveiled its NeuroPilot AI platform at the ongoing CES 2018. Utilizing an AI processing unit (APU) and NeuroPilot SDK, the AI platform is able to bring AI across a wide range of consumer products including smartphones, smart home devices and automobile electronics and others.