What Apples iPad Pro’s LiDAR Scanner sees when it’s mapping your room

Similar to the Face ID scanner on the front, the LiDAR Scanner gives the iPad Pro a better understanding of its surroundings thanks to 3D mapping magic. And now we get to see what the scanner sees, too.

Now that people are starting to receive their iPad Pros, people are starting to dig into what they can do. And that means we’re starting to see videos showing the capabilities of that fancy new scanner.

The new 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models are the first of Apple’s devices to feature the 3D laser system, but they likely won’t be the last.

Here’s what you need to know about LiDAR, how it improves current iPad Pro models, and what other future Apple devices could feature it.

What is LiDAR?

At the most basic level, LiDAR is a time-of-flight system that shoots low-power lasers at an environment.

Using the reflections, it calculates the distance to objects and points in the environment, and creates an accurate 3D depth map or rendering based on the results.

Apple’s own proprietary take on it, simply dubbed the LiDAR Scanner, likely has a few more tricks up its sleeve.

Apple says it can measure the distance to surrounding objects up to 5 meters away and operates “at the photon level at nano-second speeds.”

The iPad Pro LiDAR Scanner is used to create depth mapping points that, when combined with camera and motion sensor data, can create a “more detailed understanding of a scene” according to Apple.

The breakthrough LiDAR Scanner enables capabilities never before possible on any mobile device.

The LiDAR Scanner measures the distance to surrounding objects up to 5 meters away, works both indoors and outdoors, and operates at the photon level at nano-second speeds.

New depth frameworks in iPadOS combine depth points measured by the LiDAR Scanner, data from both cameras and motion sensors, and is enhanced by computer vision algorithms on the A12Z Bionic for a more detailed understanding of a scene.

The tight integration of these elements enables a whole new class of AR experiences on iPad Pro.Every existing ARKit app automatically gets instant AR placement, improved motion capture and people occlusion.

Using the latest update to ARKit with a new Scene Geometry API, developers can harness the power of the new LiDAR Scanner to unleash scenarios never before possible.

The LiDAR Scanner improves the Measure app, making it faster and easier to automatically calculate someone’s height, while helpful vertical and edge guides automatically appear to let users more quickly and accurately measure objects.

The Measure app also now comes with Ruler View for more granular measurements and allows users to save a list of all measurements, complete with screenshots for future use.

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