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Table of contents
Definition of LiDAR
LiDAR vs Photogrammetry
LiDAR Works
Apple’s LiDAR Technology
What are the limitations of LiDAR?
What is a LiDAR camera?
Can LiDAR penetrate the ground?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Meshing (LiDAR)

Author Amit Kumar
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Ashwin Goyal
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In this blog, we’ll learn how Apple's LiDAR technology is a game-changer for AR apps and how it works. We’ll tell you what is unique about LiDAR.  Hopefully, after reading this, we’ll go from zero to a LiDAR hero. This blog will be exciting because we’ll talk about technology in it.

Definition of LiDAR

Mr David Hall invented real-time 3D LiDAR for autonomous vehicles. LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. Topographic and bathymetric are the types of LiDAR, and LiDAR measures the distance between itself and any object operating a pulse of infrared light. An aeroplane and helicopter use the LiDAR system to estimate how long it takes for the light to return to the sensor. LiDAR also is used to make digital 3-D depictions of areas on the earth's facet and ocean bottom by varying the wavelength of light. 

Source: Scout Aerial

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LiDAR vs Photogrammetry

  • Lidar is a direct measurement—you’re physically hitting a feature with light, measuring the reflection, and producing a point cloud-like image.
  • Photogrammetry uses images taken captive by a drone-mounted camera to reconstruct the ground in an accurate 3D model using image overlap and sufficient ground control. Photogrammetry uses photos of the actual site to create a fully 3D visual model of the existing terrain.

Source: bestdrone

LiDAR Works

LiDAR is just a mesh of light and Radar, and it works similarly to a radar, even a sonar, but instead of radio or sound waves, it uses light waves from a laser. The distance is measured using the velocity of light. It uses the speed of light to calculate how far an object is. It works on a time-of-flight principle. 

Source: wikimedia

A LiDAR is a sampling tool that sends over 160,000 pulses per second. For every second, each 1-meter pixel gets about 15 pulses.LiDAR point clouds create millions of points. LiDAR data is a rare, precious resource. GPS Receivers, LiDAR Sensors, Inertial Measurement Units(IMU), and Data Recorders are the four main parts of an airborne LiDAR, and they work together to produce highly accurate, usable results. Full waveform LiDAR and Discrete LiDAR are two ways in the LiDAR system to store LiDAR returns. Self-driving cars use a LiDAR scanner to detect pedestrians, cyclists, stop signs and other obstacles.

Apple’s LiDAR Technology

Apple’s LiDAR isn’t just an improvement on the iPhone pro and pro max camera. LiDAR adds more horsepower to AR, manifesting more significant benefits and experiences, taking AR development to new heights. Apple decided to use this technology to improve low-light photography and the overall picture quality. LiDAR act as a catalyst for exciting augmented reality apps.

                                                                         Source: citrusbits

Apple enables new AR app experiences like improved AR shopping apps, home design tools, and better AR games. The liDAR drone market is predicted to grow from $143.0 million in 2021 to $455.0 million in 2028 at a CAGR of 17.98% in the forecast period, 2021-2028. This also helps create a better occlusion effect, the phenomenon where virtual objects disappear behind real ones to create a more realistic experience. An IoT sanitising device mounted on the iPhone needs to virtually paint and display the surfaces that have been sanitised using the device. Snapchat & TikTok are Already Ahead of the Others in the Race.

Snapchat was one of the first AR app development companies to use LiDAR iPhones. TikTok celebrated the new year ‘AR-style’ with its launch of a LiDAR-powered effect. With Snapchat and TikTok leveraging the iPhone 12 pro series’ LiDAR sensors, many more AR app development companies would rush to become a part of the newly-hyped technology. Apple says, ‘AR at the speed of light.


What are the limitations of LiDAR?

High cost, its inability to measure distance through heavy rain, snow,and fog and ugliness are the limitations of LiDAR.

What is a LiDAR camera?

Lidar (“light detection and ranging”) uses eye-safe laser beams to “see” the world in 3D, providing machines and computers with an accurate representation of the surveyed environment.

Can LiDAR penetrate the ground?

LiDAR allows acquiring high-resolution data of surfaces, but it cannot penetrate the ground. In GPR, the data is more complicated to interpret, and its resolution is lower than LiDAR.


This blog extensively discussed backup in Meshing(LiDAR) topics and their implementation in a jam in LiDAR software/tools.  LiDAR can be universally accepted into the AR world of magic and wonders. This blog talked about what LiDAR is, what it's used for, and how it works. We hope this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding Meshing in LiDAR. 

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