With the recent announcement regarding a new sensor on the iPhone 12 Pro Apple will begin to democratize lidar. Depth sensing certainly will improve the focus accuracy and speed of the iPhone camera, but that is only a small part of the power that lidar will bring to future iPhones.
From an article in CNET by Scott Stein.
Lidar allows the iPhone 12 Pro to start AR apps a lot more quickly, and build a fast map of a room to add more detail. A lot of Apple’s AR updates in iOS 14 are taking advantage of lidar to hide virtual objects behind real ones (called occlusion), and place virtual objects within more complicated room mappings, like on a table or chair.
I’ve been testing it out on an Apple Arcade game, Hot Lava, which already uses lidar to scan a room and all its obstacles. I was able to place virtual objects on stairs, and have things hide behind real-life objects in the room. Expect a lot more AR apps that will start adding lidar support like this for richer experiences.
But there’s extra potential beyond that, with a longer tail. Many companies are dreaming of headsets that will blend virtual objects and real ones: AR glasses, being worked on by Facebook, Qualcomm, Snapchat, Microsoft, Magic Leap and most likely Apple and others, will rely on having advanced 3D maps of the world to layer virtual objects onto.
Those 3D maps are being built now with special scanners and equipment, almost like the world-scanning version of those Google Maps cars. But there’s a possibility that people’s own devices could eventually help crowdsource that info, or add extra on-the-fly data. Again, AR headsets like Magic Leap and HoloLens already prescan your environment before layering things into it, and Apple’s lidar-equipped AR tech works the same way. In that sense, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro are like AR headsets without the headset part… and could pave the way for Apple to make its own glasses eventually.
For the complete article on how Apple will democratize lidar CLICK HERE.
Note – If you liked this post click here to stay informed of all of the 3D laser scanning, geomatics, UAS, autonomous vehicle, Lidar News and more. If you have an informative 3D video that you would like us to promote, please forward to firstname.lastname@example.org and if you would like to join the Younger Geospatial Professional movement click here.