There were rumors that Apple is going to release a new version of iPad Pro in October 2019. However, there are new rumors from the Korea which suggests that Apple is planning to launch the next version of its iPad Pro in 2020 and LG will be manufacturing 3D sensing cameras for the new iPad Pro.
The report by The Elec does not contain specifics about the hardware changes in the new iPad Pro but does suggest that the camera unit will be getting a major revamp. It is rumored to be sporting a triple camera setup like the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro devices which were released recently.
The camera module on the new iPad Pro may look like the iPhone 11 camera module; however, there are differences in functionality. According to The Elec, Apple has entered a contract with LG under which LG will supply 3D sensing ToF (Time of Flight) Sensors for the upcoming iPad Pro. These sensors will capture a lot more depth data than the previous versions and thus will improve the Augmented Reality capabilities in the next-generation iPad Pro lineup.
What is a Time of Flight (ToF) Sensor?
A time of flight sensor is a range imaging camera which approximates the depth in an image by measuring the time taken by a light signal to complete a round trip by bouncing off any surfaces in the image. This light signal is generated using a LASER or an LED module which accompanies the sensor.
Along the Time of Flight sensor, the next-generation iPad Pro is believed to have an ultra-wide-angle camera for wide shots as well as the primary camera. The technical specifications of these cameras are not available yet. There is also the possibility of Apple including a telephoto lens instead of the ultra-wide-angle lens but it is less likely as a telephoto lens cannot contribute to Augmented Reality performance in the iPad Pro.
There is also the possibility of the cheaper iPad models receiving these time of flight sensors along with the next iPad Pro. It is believed that a next-generation iPad Air will be released with the iPad Pro next year.
The next generation of iPhone Pro devices will also sport the time of flight sensors made by LG. This year, the iPhone 11 Pro had a triple camera setup with one primary camera, one wide-angle camera and a 2x optical zoom telephoto lens. Next year, the time of flight sensor will be added in the mix as well.