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iPad Pro Models for 2020 Will Feature Lidar Sensor

photo of iPad Pro to Include Lidar

iPad Pro to Include Lidar

Adding support to my claim that this will be the Lidar Decade and that lidar will become more well known by the general public than GPS, Apple announced yesterday that two iPad Pro models and some models of the iPhone will also ship with a lidar sensor.

From an article in Apple Insider by Mike Peterson.

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.

What could a LiDAR Scanner be used for?

Among Apple’s existing features, LiDAR will have the biggest impact on augmented reality (AR) and Apple’s own ARKit framework. Apple says the new LiDAR Scanner will allow for instant object placement, indicating that users wouldn’t need to “scan” their environment before an AR app loads.

Along with improvements to motion capture and people occlusion, the LiDAR Scanner will also make the Measure app much faster and more accurate. Measure will now include a new Ruler View for more granular measurements going forward, too.

While Apple didn’t specifically mention it, LiDAR will improve photography too. Take Portrait Mode, which the 2018 iPad Pro only supported in front-facing mode. With an actual 3D depth map of an area instead of using lens-based calculations to determine depth, Apple could add rear-facing Portrait Mode to the iPad Pro and improve the feature’s accuracy and speed.

For the full article click here.

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1 Comment

  • Will we be able to use this to obtain point cloud data and then export it in a native format to one of our favourite 3D applications? An ideal workflow would be to export this in to Autodesk Recap pro. I’m struggling to figure out if the iPad will achieve this and even have that kind of functionality?

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