TikTok's First LiDAR-Enabled AR Effect Now Available

SparkAmpLab Editorial Team
July 13, 2021
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TikTok has released its first augmented reality filter that can utilize the iPhone 12 Pro’s LIDAR sensor for an enhanced confetti effect that realistically settles on people or objects in your room. Here are some notes on best posting practices to keep in mind. According to TechCrunch, a number of unnamed countries will not get the effect.

Learn about the latest trends in AR/VR technology with SparkAmplify who provide topic recaps on the newest technology updates every month. Below is a recap from January on TikTok’s new AR effect, enabled by LiDAR technology, now available on iPhone 12 Pro. Visit https://www.sparkamplab.com/ to find out more about our monthly topic analyses.  

Latest news: TikTok bridges the real world and the digital world with their new AR tools,  using LiDAR technology to allow users to interact with their environment.

Why it is important: TikTok has created plenty of interesting and entertaining filters and effects on their app, but this one might be the breakthrough for the use of AR in social media apps. The confetti effect shows that TikTok has a potential to develop into something bigger than just a 1-minute video app.  

More info: AppleInsider explains that the LiDAR scanner in the iPhone 12 Pro phones, and the iPad Pro “uses infrared light to accurately determine the distances between objects around the user. It builds a 3D map of the space, and developers can then create digital objects that realistically appear alongside physical objects.”

In the glitter/confetti effect, LiDAR technology responds to the environment, so the glitter on the screen does what it would do in an actual room: it falls onto the floor, the sofa and the person in the frame. What’s even cooler is that when the camera moves, the glitter stays where it falls, and when the person moves out of the frame, the glitter falls in their place.

To check whether it’s available, users can press the plus sign to start creating a video, then choose Effects. The new AR option is in the New Effects tab within the TikTok app.

The big picture: SocialMediaToday states that “Projections already see AR ad revenues rising from $1.4b in 2020 to $8 billion in 2024.” This would be a significant boost for AR technology and its uses. Growing in popularity, LiDAR technology will advance the accuracy of digital testing tools, such as the ‘try on’ tools for online clothes’ shops, but it is already used in other stores too. For example, IKEA provides something called Place AR app which allows customers to see how IKEA’s items would look in their homes.

What to look out for: Right now, TikTok is working to provide their effect to more users around the world, so they will try to expand beyond the iPhone 12 Pro. But it doesn’t stop there. SocialMediaToday writes that “Snapchat has also announced that it will be looking to incorporate LiDAR enabled effects” They want to allow creators to build their own Lenses using LiDAR, so the future of AR is looking bright.  

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