TikTok Launches LiDAR-Powered AR Effect
(Photo by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) It's not too late to celebrate the new year in AR style: TikTok this week launched its first LiDAR-powered effect, featuring an augmented reality ball that explodes with confetti.Relive the countdown to 2021—without the mess. In a video published to Twitter, TikTok shows off a golden ball, slowly dropping (like the one in Times Square), before bursting and filling the room with glittering paper and shiny balloons. "To ring in 2021 we released our first AR effect on the new iPhone 12 Pro, using LiDAR technology which allows us to create effects that interact with your environment—visually bridging the digital and physical worlds," according to TikTok. "We're excited to develop more innovative effects in 2021."Confetti spreads over the reveler—as well as their sofa, pillows, and floor—resting in a life-like way across the person's arms and falling once they move. You'd be hard-pressed to convince anyone this effect is anything but virtual. Still, it's an impressive use of the iPhone's new LiDAR remote sensing feature.Snapchat was among the first to tap into the 12 Pro's sensor, creating various AR photo filters—including one where flowers and grass patches cover the room while a bird flies at the user's face.Available only on the flagship iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, LiDAR aims to improve augmented reality, giving apps more accurate information about the user's surroundings and helping to fuse virtual objects with the real world. It also speeds up autofocus and enables Night Portrait Mode for "smoother, softer, dreamier" shots.
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