TikTok Unveils its First AR Effect Utilizing iPhone 12’s LiDAR Scanner

TikTok is launching its first AR effect, powered by the iPhone 12’s LiDAR Scanner. The short-form video app is now joining the select few that utilize Apple’s technology to enable creators to use effects on their video. TikTok is making a splash with their first AR effect. Seeing as though it released on the advent of the new year, the AR effect celebrates 2021.

As first reported by TechCrunch, TikTok announced that it has launched a 2021 themed AR effect on the app. TikTok made the announcement on Twitter and said the first AR effect has been released and that it will continue “visually bridging the digital and physical worlds”.

Ther first AR effect TikTok released is a gold AR ball, akin to the ball dropped in Times Square on NYE. A countdown will begin and once the time has elapsed, the ball will explode and send virtual gold confetti across the screen. A floating “2021” then appears on the screen. A subtle aspect of the AR effect is that the confetti can land and sit in place on the subject of the video and surrounding environments.

The effect is only made possible thanks to the LiDAR scanner incorporated into the camera array of the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Released in the fall of last year, the iPhone 12’s LiDAR scanner is used to map depth points, light, and motion. App developers can then use this technology to apply AR innovations to their apps that utilize LiDAR.

TikTok is not the first to take advantage of the iPhone 12’s LiDAR scanner. Around the time the iPhone 12 Pro launched, Snapchat began rolling out AR effects on its platform that use the LiDAR scanner lens. There are other non-social apps that heavily incorporate the LiDAR scanner as well including RoomScan LiDAR, which is a tool for home renovations. Apple Arcade’s Hot Lava is one of the premier titles to heavily incorporate LiDAR technology as a way of creating environments to play through in-game.

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