TikTok introduces its first AR impact that makes use of iPhone 12 Professional’s LiDAR scanner

TikTok today announced a new augmented reality effect that will be the first to use the LiDAR scanner on 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 via TikTok’s official Twitter account.

Apple first introduced the LiDAR scanner with the iPad Pro 2020 and then added it to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. For those unfamiliar with the technology, it sends out infrared light to measure the distance to objects, which allows 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 apps. TikTok is now using the new sensor to provide advanced AR effects.

The first effect with the LiDAR scanner has an AR ball 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. You can see in a demonstration video shown by TikTok that confetti is more realistic because it is correctly positioned on the couch and floor.

To ring in 2021, we’ve released our first AR effect on the new iPhone 12 Pro with LiDAR technology that allows us to create effects that interact with your surroundings and visually connect the digital and physical worlds. We look forward to developing more innovative effects in 2021! pic.twitter.com/6yFD2FfHta

– TikTokComms (@tiktok_comms) January 6, 2021

According to TikTok, the new filter will be rolled out worldwide (via TechCrunch) with the exception of a few countries. The company also said that more effects will be rolled out with the LiDAR scanner in 2021 – all of which will of course be required for an iPhone or iPad model with the new sensor.

However, TikTok isn’t the first social networking app to use the LiDAR scanner for such interaction. Snapchat was one of the first apps to announce support for LiDAR scanners with special AR lenses for iPhone 12 Pro users.

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