What is the TrueDepth camera system? How does it work?


Apple’s TrueDepth camera system is a revolutionary technology that has transformed the way we interact with our devices.

Key Takeaways

  1. Face ID Security: The TrueDepth camera uses a 3D map of your face, making it hard to unlock your phone with a photo or mask.
  2. Smart Adjustments: It adjusts screen brightness, dims the display when you look away, and lowers notification volumes when you’re looking at your phone.
  3. Pro Selfies: Enables Portrait mode with a professional-looking blurry background, available on recent iPhones and iPad Pros.

What is the TrueDepth Camera System?


The TrueDepth camera is a fancy camera setup that Apple made for some of their iPhones and iPads. This cool camera is right on the front of your device and does a bunch of neat things.

First, it helps with Face ID, which is how you unlock your phone just by looking at it. It can change things like the brightness of your screen or the volume of your phone depending on if you’re looking at it or not.

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And for those who love taking selfies, the TrueDepth camera helps create that cool blurry background effect in Portrait mode, making your selfies look super professional.

How Does It Work?

face 3d mapping illustration

First, the camera projects thousands of tiny, invisible dots all over your face. It then analyzes these dots to create a 3D map of your face. Think of it as your phone playing a game of connect-the-dots, but way more high-tech.

At the same time, the camera also takes an infrared picture of your face. This helps it get a clear and accurate look at your facial features, even in the dark.

Now, here’s where the Bionic chip comes in. The Bionic chip has a special part called the neural engine, which is like the brain of your phone. This brain takes the 3D map and the infrared picture, and turns them into a mathematical model of your face.

When you try to unlock your phone with Face ID, the phone compares this model with the face data you saved when you first set up Face ID. If everything matches up, your phone unlocks.

The TrueDepth camera is really good at capturing details about your face that a regular camera can’t. Since it creates a 3D map of your face, it’s way harder for someone to trick your phone with just a photo or a mask of your face.

Here’s another neat trick: the camera can tell if your eyes are closed or if you’re not looking at your phone. This means no one can unlock your phone while you’re asleep or not paying attention.

More about 3D mapping here

Applications of the TrueDepth Camera System

The TrueDepth camera isn’t just for unlocking your phone. It has a bunch of other cool uses too:

  1. Saving Battery: When you look away from your phone, the camera notices and dims the screen to save battery life.
  2. Quiet Notifications: If you’re looking at your phone, the camera can lower the volume of notifications so they don’t disturb you as much.
  3. Portrait Mode: When you take a selfie, the camera helps create a nice blurry background effect, making your photos look more professional.

In short, the TrueDepth camera not only helps with Face ID but also makes your phone smarter in different ways.

Devices Featuring the TrueDepth Camera System


The TrueDepth camera made its first appearance with the iPhone X in 2017. Since then, every new iPhone has had this cool camera system. It’s also in the iPad Pro, starting with the 3rd generation in 2018.

This means you can find the TrueDepth camera in the latest iPhones, like the iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max. It’s also in the iPad Pro models from 2021 and onwards.

So, if you have any of these devices, you’re already using the advanced TrueDepth camera!


The TrueDepth camera shows how much Apple cares about making their devices securee. With this camera, you can unlock your phone safely.

This camera system has made using iPhones and iPads even better. And since Apple loves to keep improving, we can look forward to even more exciting updates to this technology in the future.

Note: Any verdict given by us on any of the companies, or specs of a device is subjective. Our preferences can be different from yours, so be sure to conduct your own research to make a decision that is good for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can the TrueDepth Camera be used for more than just Face ID?
Yes, the TrueDepth Camera System isn’t just for unlocking your device. It can detect your attention to adjust screen brightness and notification volume, and it powers the Portrait mode for high-quality selfies with a blurred background effect, enhancing your overall device experience.
How does the TrueDepth Camera improve the user experience with selfies?
The TrueDepth Camera enables Portrait mode on compatible devices, allowing for professional-looking selfies with a blurred background. This effect, known as bokeh, typically requires a high-end camera, but TrueDepth makes it accessible on your iPhone or iPad.
How does the TrueDepth Camera contribute to battery conservation?
The TrueDepth Camera detects when you look away from your device and dims the screen to save battery life. This intelligent adjustment helps extend your device’s battery life by reducing power consumption when the screen isn’t actively being viewed.

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