Apple announced today that it's newly touted iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be equipped with a LiDAR scanner.
'LiDAR', a technology previously debuted in Apple's newest variant of the iPad Pro earlier this year, stands for 'Light detection and Ranging.' LiDAR technology uses lasers to judge distances and depths in order to provide better mapping of physical spaces.
LiDAR technology allows users to scan and map their environment efficiently by firing out beams of light and timing how quickly they return. The technology began life in military aircraft but in recent years has been used in GPS systems, tablets and phones.
Most exciting, the iPhone 12's LiDAR capabilities will allow for some of Apple's most immersive AR experiences yet. In other words, we can expect AR - for example, in gaming, shopping or cinematic applications - will be a big part of the iPhone 12 experience.
For example, first-person iOS adventure game Hot Lava will have a new 'AR mode' released in late 2020 which takes use of the iPhone 12 Pro's LiDAR sensor. Furthermore, the IKEA Place app allows shoppers to move virtual furniture around their homes to see what it would look like. Presumably, the LiDAR sensor would streamline features like these and motivate other developers to include them in a wider range of iOS applications.
This is extremely exciting news, especially in light of the All-New ZapBox's recent reveal. Could this be the start of a new era for mobile AR?