Earlier this week, Apple launched the new iPad Pro with a LiDAR scanner. LIDAR or Light Detection and Ranging is a method of remote sensing that is used to map the surroundings. 2020 iPad Pro started arriving yesterday for people across the world and the users have posted videos of what LIDAR does on iPad Pro.
The new scanner does offer some sophisticated capabilities. Apple says LiDAR scanner allows the iPad Pro to measure the distance to surrounding objects that are up to 5m away. The sensor works both indoors and outdoors. The updated Measure app in iPadOS 13.4 will be able to take advantage of the LiDAR Scanner. Additionally, all ARKit apps will also get instant AR placement, improved motion capture, and people occlusion thanks to the scanner.
Apple explains that the LiDAR scanner offers “cutting-edge depth-sensing capabilities” and will help in supporting more workflows. Furthermore, the LiDAR Scanner works in tandem with pro cameras, motion sensors, pro performance, pro audio, and will help enhance augmented reality capabilities. Apple boasts that the feature is only available on iPad Pro and believes that the consumers will love it.
First look at the iPad Pro LiDAR Scanner pic.twitter.com/kwkl1YBy2n
— Tim Field (@nobbis) March 25, 2020
A Twitter user has put up a video in which he uses the LiDAR scanner in his house. As you can see the new feature maps objects and gauges how far they are from the observer. The second video shows how the feature works by generating infrared dots which in turn tell how far away the object is.
Here is iPad Pro’s LiDAR under infrared. pic.twitter.com/IZkum3nwRx
— Faruk 🚀 ᴵᴾᴴᴼᴺᴱᴰᴼ (@iPhonedo) March 26, 2020
Apple has already detailed LiDAR technology in a bunch of patents including the one used for self-driving cars. Just yesterday, Apple released ARKit 3.5 which added support for LiDAR. In the near future, Apple will use the new hardware in building new augmented reality features. It is also quite likely that future iPhones will come equipped with LiDAR sensors as well.