TikTok presents its first AR effect using the iPhone 12 Pro’s LiDAR scanner


TikTok today announced a new augmented reality effect which is the first to use the LiDAR scanner in iPhone 12 Pro models. The effect celebrates the new year with golden AR balloons and confetti that interact with the environment thanks to the new iPhone sensor. The announcement was made by TikTok Official Twitter Account.

Apple first introduced the LiDAR scanner with the iPad Pro 2020, then added it to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. For those unfamiliar with the technology, it emits infrared light to measure the distance of objects, allowing the device to create an accurate 3D map of the scene.

Developers have access to APIs that enable integration between the LiDAR scanner and third-party applications, and TikTok is now using the new sensor to provide advanced AR effects.

The first effect using the LiDAR scanner has an AR bullet similar to the one used on New Years Eve in Times Square. At the end of the countdown, the effect fills the room with confetti and reflective “2021” balloons. In a demo video presented by TikTok, you can notice that the confetti looks more realistic because it is positioned correctly on the sofa and the floor.

According to TikTok, the new filter is being rolled out worldwide with the exception of a few countries (via TechCrunch). The company also said that more effects using the LiDAR scanner will be introduced in 2021 – and of course, they’ll all require an iPhone or iPad model with the new sensor.

However, TikTok is not the first social media app to adopt LiDAR scanner for such interaction. Snapchat was one of the first apps to announce support for the LiDAR scanner with special AR lenses available to iPhone 12 Pro users.

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