iPhone that Fires Laser Beams in Development, according to new Apple patient.
The laser would be mounted inside the iPhone and used together with the inbuilt motion sensors to generate a map of any surface it is pointed at.
An iPhone-mounted sensor would detect any light bounced back to the device and provide information about the surfaces of objects around it.
This would allow the iPhone to be used to measure distance and create 3D maps of rooms and even buildings – something that currently requires bulky equipment.
Designs for the iPhone laser were revealed in a US patent application submitted by Apple.
It raises the prospect of being able to connect future generations of the iPhone to 3D printers so users can replicate their favourite objects or important components.
Apple claims the laser technology could be incorporated into other handheld devices such as iPads, laptops and even wearable technology like its new Apple Watch.
Apple proposes housing the laser and sensor inside an iPhone, giving it a dedicated opening in the case to allow the laser beam to be emitted and received.
However, it says the laser system could also be mounted behind the camera, the display or even inside the port for headphone jacks.