iPhone 12 Again Reported to Come With LiDAR Scanner

LiDAR is set to see "increasing penetration in consumer electronics devices," catalyzed by the upcoming iPhone 12, according to a new report by DigiTimes.

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LiDAR, which stands for "light detection and ranging," first appeared in the Apple product lineup in the 2020 iPad Pro. The technology was primarily used in the automotive industry before coming to handheld consumer technology products. LiDAR component manufacturers are reported to be benefiting from the proliferation of the scanning technology.

LiDAR can measure distances by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor. This data can then be used to make accurate 3D representations of an object or environment, and can significantly improve augmented reality experiences.

The report predicts that LiDAR is expected to be increasingly adopted for consumer electronics applications in the coming years, driven by the fact Apple will allegedly "incorporate the technology into some of its new iPhone models." Although the DigiTimes report does not explicitly state that LiDAR will come to the iPhone 12 Pro models specifically, it seems likely that this is the implied meaning of the report's claim that the feature will not come to all new ‌iPhone‌ models.

The scanner has been rumored to feature on the rear of the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ for some time. Some leaks have suggested that the LiDAR scanner will only come to the 6.7-inch ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌, but others have claimed that the feature will come to both the 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ models. The less expensive 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch ‌iPhone 12‌ models are said to be missing the LiDAR scanner, with the technology being regarded as a "pro" feature.

Last week, screenshots allegedly from an early ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ production unit showed settings for LiDAR functionality.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 12 (Caution)
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Lidar Avatar
12 months ago
“The technology was primarily used in the automotive industry before coming to handheld consumer technology products.” - False

LiDAR has been a key component in the surveying and mapping industries for well over two decades. Well before those cheap sensors showed up in any car.

I have stationary terrestrial LiDAR scanner sitting in my back room collecting dust that is from the late 90s. It’s old and inefficient but highly accurate. It’s made my Leica Geosystems.

Do your research folks.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
that be me Avatar
12 months ago

“The technology was primarily used in the automotive industry before coming to handheld consumer technology products.” - False

LiDAR has been a key component in the surveying and mapping industries for well over two decades. Well before those cheap sensors showed up in any car.

I have stationary terrestrial LiDAR scanner sitting in my back room collecting dust that is from the late 90s. It’s old and inefficient but highly accurate. It’s made my Leica Geosystems.

Do your research folks.
At the very least, his name checks out.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
12 months ago
Lidar, AR, Machine Learning, Animoji = stuff nobody asked for nor anyone cares about
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gmarm Avatar
12 months ago
I understand that Apple wants to test their upcoming glasses hardware on the iPhone & iPad, but I could not care less about this addition.

I'd favor getting a cheaper iPhone without this, but oh well ??‍♂️
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DoctorTech Avatar
12 months ago

Lidar, AR, Machine Learning, Animoji = stuff nobody asked for nor anyone cares about
I would agree that few people actually asked for it, but that is part of Apple being a leader - they anticipate future wants and desires and start building the technology to get us from where we are to where they think we want to go. Lidar in particular is a great example, nobody specifically asked for it but it should enable much better focusing of the camera in low light situations which is something a lot of people would like. I still believe the future of AR is going to be exciting in ways we can't even fully comprehend right now but I think in 5 years people will be looking back at today and talking about how Apple ushered in a new era in technology with AR.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dino12 Avatar
12 months ago

“The technology was primarily used in the automotive industry before coming to handheld consumer technology products.” - False

LiDAR has been a key component in the surveying and mapping industries for well over two decades. Well before those cheap sensors showed up in any car.

I have stationary terrestrial LiDAR scanner sitting in my back room collecting dust that is from the late 90s. It’s old and inefficient but highly accurate. It’s made my Leica Geosystems.

Do your research folks.
We use Faro scanners at work. If this technology gets into phones and could eventually scan accurately that would be amazing.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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