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The smartphone 3D camera market was valued at $1.93 billion in 2017 and will be growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45.6% during the forecast period from 2018 to 2026.
The functionality of smartphones has expanded well beyond just calling, internet and a basic camera. Technological advancements have enabled cameras in smartphones to be highly capable in terms of picture quality. One such new capability in today's smartphone cameras is the deployment of 3D cameras. These cameras feature depth-sensing capabilities and can map one's face in all kinds of lighting conditions.
Moreover, smartphones with 3D capabilities are able to face unlock faster and more securely as compared to solutions using conventional front-facing cameras, iris scanners, or both. Therefore, increasing demand for smartphones with enhanced camera capabilities expected to compliment the smartphone 3D camera market growth. These cameras also provide 3D modeling and 3D scanning of objects. High price for 3D camera module is, however, one of the restraining factor impacting the market growth negatively.
The manufacturers of smartphone 3D cameras in order to gain competitive advantage are involved in research and development activities. For instance, Huawei expected to launch a new smartphone with the 3D ToF camera. The camera will be able to take three-dimensional pictures of objects and people. It is believed that the new sensors are made by Sony Corp. and beside creating 3D renders, it is also capable of other applications such as augmented reality, hand gestures and more. Similarly, LG filed a patent for a new type of camera which in order to build 3D pictures uses lasers to determine object depth.
By technology, time-of-flight segment expected to register the fastest growth rate during the forecast period. This growth is supported by increasing deployment of this technology in the upcoming smartphones in coming years. Some of the benefits offered by time-of-flight sensors include performance, size, and power consumption. On the other hand, structured light technology is mostly found on Apple's FaceID facial-recognition feature.