TikTok’s First LiDAR-Powered AR Filter Now Available

Ring in the new year with this 2021-themed AR effect.

Social media app TikTok this week released its first LiDAR-powered augmented reality filter, offering those with the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max access to a unique interactive effect perfect for ringing in the new year.

Available now on compatible smartphone devices, this 2021-themed filter simulates the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Time Square, including the official countdown. Once the golden ball has fully descended, it explodes, revealing a giant inflatable “2021” balloon and showering you with a sea of shimmering confetti. Thanks to the power of LiDAR technology, the digital confetti—rather than fall uniformly on the floor—scatters randomly throughout the environment, interacting real-world objects as well as you yourself.

Image Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images

In a video provided by TikTok, we see a user draped in confetti as the ball explodes on cue above him. The confetti reacts to his movements, falling to the ground as he drops his arms and walks off frame. Numerous pieces can also be seen scattered realistically across the couch and floor. How is this level of depth perception possible, you ask?

By emitting a certain type of laser light via specialized cameras, LiDAR technology is able to determine how far away an object is by measuring how long it takes the light to hit said object and reflect back. The result is more realistic AR visuals, once that interact with physical objects as well as the light itself.

“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. We’re excited to develop more innovative effects in 2021!,” states TikTok in a tweet sharing the video.

As previously stated, TikTok’s LiDAR-powered AR filter is available now to all iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max users. According to a report by Techcrunch, TikTok is expected to introduce more liDAR-powered filters throughout 2021.

Fellow social media platform Snapchat has been employing LiDAR technology in its AR-enhanced Snap Lenses for some time.

“The addition of the LiDAR Scanner to iPhone 12 Pro models enables a new level of creativity for augmented reality,” said Eitan Pilipski, Snap’s SVP of Camera Platform, in an official release. “We’re excited to collaborate with Apple to bring this sophisticated technology to our Lens Creator community.”  

Feature Image Credit: TikTok

About the Scout

Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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