TikTok recently announced that it will be utilizing LiDAR technology for immersive lenses on the app, made possible by the latest versions of the iPhone. According to TechCrunch:

“Support for LiDAR, or light detection and ranging, was introduced on the new flagship 5G iPhone models, the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, in the fall. The technology helps the iPhone better understand the world around you, by measuring how long it takes for light to reach an object in the space and reflect back.

Along with improvements to the iPhone’s machine learning capabilities and dev frameworks, this allows for more immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences.”

How they are using it

TikTok says that the technology enables them to “create effects that interact with your environment – visually bridging the digital and physical worlds.” In the example below, confetti falls onto objects in the users’ environment, with a spatial awareness that was previously not possible with such lenses.

Not the first to use LiDAR

But TikTok is actually a bit late to the game – Snapchat was the first company to use a LiDAR to create an immersive AR effect. The magical burgeoning garden is particularly enchanting. You can see an example of it below – along with an explanation of how the technology works.

To learn more about the nefarious side of LiDAR technology, check out our post “Hackers could use your vacuum to listen to your conversations.”