Will the iPhone 7 Have Stereoscopic Image Capture?

Tomorrow Apple will unveil the seventh generation iPhone. In true Apple pre-launch fashion, rumors are flying... no headphone port, upgraded storage capacity, etc.

But one rumor especially got our attention: a second rear-facing camera lens. This should bring greater depth of field by increasing focal length without widening the phone. 

But that's all been said; the factor I haven't heard is what two cameras could really imply -- stereoscopic image capture. This would be an important step into VR for Apple.

This move would also align with iPhone feature iterations, which seem to focus (excuse the pun) on camera and optical capabilities in the past few generations. 

For example, the iPhone's panoramas democratized that capability to the masses. Could dual-camera stereoscopy do the same for 360 video capture (a la LucidCam)?

One thing's for sure: Apple needs to move more aggressively into VR and AR if it's to sustain computing dominance. Indeed, its M.O. is to move into markets late, but with dominance. 

Of course there's a lot more to VR than stereoscopy, but like lots of rudimentary 360 video for cardboard, it could be a gateway drug for creating more VR content

This is all just speculation on the eve of the announcement, but we'll see if the iPhone 7 brings us more accessible stereoscopic image capture, or any other impactful VR moves. 

Mike Boland

Michael Boland is Chief Analyst and VP of Content for BIA/Kelsey, covering online and mobile media. Mike is a frequent speaker at top industry conferences such as BIA/Kelsey events, Search Engine Strategies, ad:tech, and WHERE 2.0. He has authored in-depth reports on the changing local media landscape including online video, social networking and mobile. He contributes regularly to highly read online news sources such as Business Insider and the Huffington Post. A trusted source for reporters covering the interactive media space, his comments have appeared in major news and trade media, including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Forbes. Previously he was a San Francisco-based freelance writer for business and technology magazines, such as Red Herring, Business 2.0, and Mobile Magazine. Mike began his career in business analysis and journalism as a staff reporter for Forbes magazine, where he covered tech & media.