Motion coprocessor replacement in 2019 iPhones may power Apple Tags

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 9
Apple is making major improvements to the coprocessor in the 2019 iPhones, a report claims, with the codenamed 'Rose' and 'R1' part included in the A13 chip with a wider array of sensors than found in previous M-series coprocessor iterations.




The A-series chips used in the iPhone have included a M-series coprocessor for some time. Also known as a Motion coprocessor, the component is used to collect sensor data and process them on behalf of the main processor, freeing up resources for other tasks and reduces battery usage.

Typically the motion coprocessor takes data from the accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, microphone, and compass, among other elements, enabling it to determine its physical location and movement in 3D space, as well as collecting data for step counts and other items. The new "Rose" coprocessor considerably expands the list of sensors it can acquire data from.

According to a report on Tuesday by MacRumors, there is support for an inertial measurement unit, Bluetooth 5.1 features, Ultra Wide Band support, and both motion capture and optical tracking data from cameras. The data is able to enhance its positioning data, but the addition of Angle of Arrival and Angle of Departure from Bluetooth 5.1 enables Bluetooth direction-finding, which can be used to help find the position of lost Apple Tags.

Revealed at the end of August, the Apple Tags are a Tile-like tracking device that allows users to find them via an app and, in turn, the thing it is affixed to, such as keys. Running within the Find My app, users would be able to generate an AR-style view showing where the tag is detected to be in relation to their own position, potentially aiding in its discovery.

A Ming-Chi Kuo research note on Friday also mused on the use of Ultra Wide Band, but less from a consumer viewpoint. Kuo suggested UWB could be used to enhance indoor navigation alongside iBeacon technology, making it easier for iPhone users to navigate a campus or large building, such as a stadium.

Since "Rose" has a considerable amount of overlap over what the M-series coprocessors collect, it is likely it will replace the Motion coprocessor entirely.

AppleInsider will be at Apple's Steve Jobs Theater for Tuesday's "By Innovation Only" event. Follow along with us here, on Twitter, on YouTube, and on Instagram to get all the details of the new iPhone and more!
razorpit

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    robjnrobjn Posts: 248member
    Apple Tag does not require new hardware in the iPhone. Apple have already explain how the Bluetooth tracking works at WWDC and at a security conference.

    I think it is much more likely that this new processor is to enhance AR by supporting more sensor inputs. These extra sensor inputs might include the rumored third camera lens, headset hardware is also likely to have an accelerometer and gyroscope and there might be other hardware for interaction in the AR world such as a sensor laden glove.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,028member
    robjn said:
    Apple Tag does not require new hardware in the iPhone. Apple have already explain how the Bluetooth tracking works at WWDC and at a security conference.

    I think it is much more likely that this new processor is to enhance AR by supporting more sensor inputs. These extra sensor inputs might include the rumored third camera lens, headset hardware is also likely to have an accelerometer and gyroscope and there might be other hardware for interaction in the AR world such as a sensor laden glove.

    True they did. But the UWB technology would not be a part of what was mentioned, which was how to use other iOS devices to help track the location of your “lost” device.

    UWB has more do with pin-pointing the beacon down to an inch or so to make it easier to find (and exactly positioning it in an AR scene).
    edited September 9 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    I wonder if any of this will come with a SDK so apps can find the direction of any Bluetooth device?
  • Reply 4 of 13
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,028member
    I wonder if any of this will come with a SDK so apps can find the direction of any Bluetooth device?

    I’d be willing to bet it’ll be an extension to their iBeacon API. The only thing they’d need to add is an extra bit of data; the GPS coordinates. Currently iBeacons provide signal volume level which can be used to determine if you’re getting closer to or further from the beacon.
    edited September 9 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    Tag technology will evolve over time. Old iPhones, using Bluetooth only for communications can instruct a tag to make noise. At least one rumor I've read says they will have that ability, and that's how third party tags (such as Tile) already work. The next step is to remove human ears from the equation and allow the phone to locate tags in 3D space via RF and overlay estimated location on the phone's camera view of the search space. The rumored "time of flight" and "approach and departure angle" abilities of UWB in 2019 iPhones will make this possible. It's a difficult problem to solve, but Apple has the resources and the patience to take a swing at it.
    edited September 9 FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    netroxnetrox Posts: 826member
    You know what? I just think it would be cool for Apple to offer me a map of where I was at as a timeline as a way to help me find locations that I may have last left an item.
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 7 of 13
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,752member
    It would be interesting if Apple included these tags inside of their products like Macbooks.  It would make it easier to locate I would think.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    Changing the name of the co-processor to R instead of M. I wonder if they are freeing up the M chip name for some other product in the future.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 552member

    While this tracking technology has a lot of potential uses, it could provide additional ways to track another person without the individual knowing.  Examples include stalkers who want to know you whereabouts, or burglars who want to know your routine so they can plan their next robbery at your home.

    If someone can surreptitiously attach a tracker to an automobile or a suitcase or other personal item, this could turn into a scary situation.  How do you handle that Apple?

  • Reply 10 of 13
    mjtomlin said:
    I wonder if any of this will come with a SDK so apps can find the direction of any Bluetooth device?

    I’d be willing to bet it’ll be an extension to their iBeacon API. The only thing they’d need to add is an extra bit of data; the GPS coordinates. Currently iBeacons provide signal volume level which can be used to determine if you’re getting closer to or further from the beacon.
    Well that's going to put a crimp on future games of Marco Polo. :wink:
  • Reply 11 of 13
    mjtomlin said:
    I wonder if any of this will come with a SDK so apps can find the direction of any Bluetooth device?

    I’d be willing to bet it’ll be an extension to their iBeacon API. The only thing they’d need to add is an extra bit of data; the GPS coordinates. Currently iBeacons provide signal volume level which can be used to determine if you’re getting closer to or further from the beacon.
    Well that's going to put a crimp on future games of Marco Polo. :wink:
    You joke but I bet once this tech is ubiquitous babies will completely lose interest in games of Peek-a-Boo.  As soon as they (the babies) realize they can whip out their iPhone or iPad and find mommy or daddy behind the hands, they’ll just become bored and disinterested.  Hard to believe that time honored interaction between parent and child will soon be relegated to the annals of history.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    so Will this R1 chip replace the W1 in the AirPods as well to deliver additional function and streamline the number of chips needed in each pod. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 13
    JWSC said:

    While this tracking technology has a lot of potential uses, it could provide additional ways to track another person without the individual knowing.  Examples include stalkers who want to know you whereabouts, or burglars who want to know your routine so they can plan their next robbery at your home.

    If someone can surreptitiously attach a tracker to an automobile or a suitcase or other personal item, this could turn into a scary situation.  How do you handle that Apple?

     People can already do that if they wanted to. There are small GPS trackers and Tile and others have made BT ones for a few years now.( BTW, burglars don't take the time to "learn your routine" nor do they have to. It isn't like Oceans 11 on TV. 99% of the time it's a drug user who simply knocks on your door to see if your home. If you don't answer, they go around back and kick in a door. )
    edited September 10
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