2019 iPhones are set to feature a new element: a co-processor for spatial awareness that’s internally referred to as both “Rose” and “R1.” The “R1” or “Rose” co-processors will be introduced as part of the A13 SoC. Macrumors found evidence for this by analyzing an internal build of iOS 13.
iPhones and iPads have featured motion co-processors (the M series) ever since the iPhone 5S arrived in 2013. The M series motion co-processors enabled Apple to offload the processing of sensor data, which freed up processing time on the main CPU. The M series included support for data coming from the accelerometer, barometer, mics, compass, and gyroscope.
“Rose” or “R1” Co-Processor Will Handle a Much Wider Range of Sensor Data
The R series or “Rose” co-processor will be able to handle input from a much wider range of sensors. The R series will be able to aggregate sensor data from the Bluetooth 5.1 connection, the inertial measurement unit, camera tracking, ultra-wideband, and the optical sensor. This will allow it to do much more than the M co-processor. In particular, Rose has applications in AR and in relation to Apple’s rumored new Apple Tags.
As far AR use cases are concerned, enhanced sensor data processing, particularly from the optical sensor, will enable Rose to enhance the “People Occlusion” function of ARKit. This would make it easier to both remove people from and add people to AR scenes onscreen by tracking their motion in real-life.
ARKit’s already enabled a range of interesting uses, such as taking measurements inside of AR spaces. The enhanced ARKit functionality would lead to a whole range of new experiences.
This would allow developers to create more detailed and realistic AR experiences. In apps like Minecraft Earth, it would help to position objects and people in the AR frame with less jerkiness.
With regards to Apple Tags, the R series co-processor will enable the tags to function with a much higher level of accuracy than the competition. Existing Bluetooth-enabled tracking devices like the “Tile” are only accurate to around 12-16 feet.
This means that even if they help you get into the same room as the object being tracked, you’d then have to spend time finding it within the search radius. This is where the Bluetooth 5.1 featureset supported by Rose comes into play. Bluetooth 5.1 allows for Angle of Arrival and Angle of Departure direction-finding. These can be used to pin-point a tracking object to within a few feet.
With Augmented Reality and tracking becoming much more important, the R series co-processors will open up the possibility of doing more with your iPhone or iPad.