Apple recently launched its 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. Compared to the 2018 model, the iPad Pro features a new processor, an additional camera with an ultra-wide-angle lens, better overall performance and a LiDAR scanner with AR apps. The three-dimensional sensor, or, as it is also called, LiDAR is one of the most controversial innovations that has ever been added to the company’s devices.

What is LiDAR?

The acronym LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. It uses light to measure distance using invisible pulsating green spectrum lasers. These pulses measure how long it takes for the light to get back to the sensor. In short, this helps it to paint a picture of the environment in front of the scanner. It offers enormous potential in gaming and practical uses. Thanks to 3D mapping, the new iPad can be used to scan and analyse surroundings with the help of Augmented Reality (AR) applications. It takes gaming to whole new level. AR apps can also be used to add objects to a photo of your room to see how they would actually look in real. For example, the IKEA app lets you position furniture within your room so you can walk around and see what it looks like!


The iPad also functions as a handy tool for architects and interior designers, helping them to measure space more accurately. Shapr3D is an architectural and industrial design drawing tool. This app allows CAD modelling on a mobile device! It is one of the first apps promising to take advantage of the new sensor and Scene Geometry API. We are sure to see many more in the future.

An application called Complete Anatomy was developed to train medical students. Users can study the human anatomy in AR, analyse the movements of muscles, joints, and also exploring the structure of the nervous system. The makers of the app planning on adding features to evaluate the range of motion of patients undergoing recovery from injuries. Real human beings can be used to take measures. According to Irene Walsh, head of 3D4Medical, the LiDAR in the iPad Pro allows analysis at a higher level of automation, which makes the work of a doctor and a student who is just studying medicine easier.

A variety of practices make use of LiDAR technology. For years, space satellites have used LiDAR to map the surface of the Earth. LiDAR has now made its way into driverless vehicles to precisely map cars, traffic lights, and roads. For the very first time this technology is being used on the new Apple iPad Pro 2020. We assume future smartphones and tablets support LiDAR technology to improve their ability and create immersive augmented reality experiences

A few other impressive Apps that support LiDAR

IKEA Place: Before buying furniture, you can now take a look at how it fits in your space. Use the app to virtually place true-to-scale 3D models in your home.

Hot Lava

Hot Lava: For all the gaming lovers out there, say hello to your new favorite! It uses AR to transform the space around you into game challenges. Your home looks the same, however, you do have hot molten lava moving around in your living room. 

Measure: It’s time to ditch the measuring stick! Gauge the size of real objects, a person’s height and provide the dimension’s of rectangular objects.