Apple is placing important enhancements to two of the 2020 iPhones, and that all three will have an important security feature in front, according to a reputed analyst.

According to a note given to investors (and obtained by MacRumors), analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple might equip its 2020 iPhones with camera enhancements both in front and at the back. He said all three 2020 iPhones will have Face ID in front, and more importantly, two of these iPhones will have Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors at the back.

“We predict that three new 2H20 iPhone models will all be equipped with front Face ID, and two of the new models will provide rear ToF,” Kuo said in the note. “We estimate that shipments of iPhone models equipped with front and rear VCSEL (front structure light and rear ToF) will be 45mn units in 2020.”

The new report goes contrary to a previous report where an analyst from Credit Suisse said Apple will release one 2020 iPhone that won’t have Face ID but will feature a full-screen acoustic fingerprint authentication. Kuo, on the other hand, said this iPhone will have a thinner notch, but he didn’t say it won’t have Face ID. He simply said it might feature smaller cameras.

Why get excited for TOF?

ToF sensors measure the time it takes for lasers, light or other like materials to travel a certain distance. These allow cameras to get real-time 3D depth data and allows for tracking and distinguishing movements in a certain environment, The Verge noted. Given its function, this kind of technology is used in drones and cars to help determine distance and prevent accidents like crashes and bumps.

By equipping the 2020 iPhones with ToF sensors, Apple will be able to boost the device’s AR capabilities. It will allow future iPhones to accurately map a room, determine where objects or people are located, and create an accurate 3D rendering based on the depth data it acquires. This can then be used for more accurate augmented reality applications.

This feature will allow iPhone users to maximize ARKit 3’s features such as motion capture and people occlusion, where users, in real-time, can create videos augmented with 3D objects sans the need for video editing props like green screens. ToF sensors will also allow future iPhones to take better-quality photos.

ARKit Apple's rumored AR headset might be ready by 2019 and could be released to consumers as soon as 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su