The Best LiDAR Apps for Your iPhone and iPad (2023)

The Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) scanner in theiPhone 12 Pro,iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the2020 iPad Pro measures distances more accurately to map out three-dimensional spaces. That skill comes in handy when shooting photos at night, but it also plays a role in an array of mobile apps. With the LiDAR scanner, you can better measure yourself for clothes shopping, your home for buying new furniture, and your surroundings for imaging scanning.

Companies like Apple, Ikea, and Microsoft have apps that can measure a person’s height, position virtual 3D furniture, and identify nearby people and objects. Many other third-party apps exist in the App Store, but there are several that stand out.


The Best LiDAR Apps for Your iPhone and iPad (1)

Apple’s free Measure(Opens in a new window) app is included on the iPhone and iPad as a virtual alternative to a physical ruler, tape measure, and level. You can measure the distance between two points, determine the dimensions of an object, and even figure out if a surface is straight.

Measure distance by positioning the center dot within the circle onto the starting point, then tap the + button. Move your device along the area you want to measure, then tap the + button again at the ending point. The total distance appears on the screen.

If you’re looking for the dimensions of a shape, such as a square or cube, record the length of one side, then double-tap the + button. Move your device along each side and double tap the + button to start the next line. Continue in this fashion until all sides are measured, then tap the + button to finish.

You can tap the bullet-point icon in the top-left corner to display the dimensions you measured on the screen. Tap the Shutter button to take a picture of the object with the dimensions visible.

The Best LiDAR Apps for Your iPhone and iPad (2)

To use the Measure app as a level, tap the Level icon at the bottom of the screen. You can then position your device flat, horizontally, or vertically along a surface until the screen displays 0 and turns green to indicate that you are level.

Ikea Place

The Best LiDAR Apps for Your iPhone and iPad (3)

You can easily remodel and equip your home with the right furniture via the free Ikea Place app(Opens in a new window). Choose from a variety of items, including chairs, sofas, tables, desks, bookcases, and lamps. You can browse by collection, category, or theme. Just position the object into an area in your home to see how it would fit. After you’ve inserted a virtual item, you can reposition it and move it around the room. You can also add more items and save each one to redecorate whole rooms or your entire house.

Seeing AI

The Best LiDAR Apps for Your iPhone and iPad (4)

Designed by Microsoft, the free Seeing AI(Opens in a new window) app is geared toward helping blind and visually impaired people navigate through their environment. However, the new LiDAR-based features make the app a fascinating experience for anyone.

Thanks to the power of artificial intelligence, the app can describe people, scenes, and objects that appear in the viewfinder. It can also view text on the fly and read it aloud, identify products from the barcode, and identify colors and currency.

With its LiDAR support, Seeing AI can help you feel the distance to objects based on your device’s haptic proximity sensor. And if you’re wearing headphones, the app can describe nearby objects. To use Seeing AI, just choose the option you need, point your iPhone or iPad at the right object, and the app will do the rest.

(Video) iPhone 12 Pro & iPad Pro Best Free Lidar Scanning Apps


The Best LiDAR Apps for Your iPhone and iPad (5)

Looking for an app to scan, capture, and display an entire room? Canvas: LiDAR 3D Measurements(Opens in a new window) can handle the job. Pick the room you want to scan, then move your device around the room to cover the virtual grid displayed on the screen.

Once you have captured the entire room, the app generates a 3D image that you can view and even walk through. Take a tour of the room using gestures or by moving your iPhone or iPad. You can look at a cutaway image of the room, which you can then tilt or swivel.

The basic app is free. If you want a professional CAD image of your room for design or architectural purposes, you’ll have to pony up to $15, $29, or $39 per scan based on the complexity you require.

3D Scanner App

The Best LiDAR Apps for Your iPhone and iPad (6)

With the free 3D Scanner app(Opens in a new window), you can scan any object or scene to create a three-dimensional image of it on your device. To start, position your iPhone or iPad in front of the object you want to capture and tap the Shutter button. Move your device around the object to generate an image, then tap the Shutter button again when you’re done to generate the 3D object.

By default, the scan is created in low resolution, but you can switch to high resolution to better control the quality of the image. Afterwards, you can tweak the scan to refine, smooth, or simplify details. You can also measure the distance between any two points in the scan and share it as different formats.

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The Best LiDAR Apps for Your iPhone and iPad (10)

Scaniverse - 3D Scanner(Opens in a new window) can capture scenes and objects, then generate an interactive 3D image. To scan something, tap the Shutter button and move your iPhone or iPad around the object to grab different views until the shaded lines on the screen disappear. When done, you can save the scan in standard, high, or ultra format. You can then zoom in and out and move around the image to see if from different distances and angles. The scan can then be shared or exported as a variety of file formats.


The Best LiDAR Apps for Your iPhone and iPad (11)

The free Polycam - LiDAR 3D Scanner(Opens in a new window) app can scan and capture specific scenes and objects, then display them as 3D images. Line up your iPhone or iPad and tap the Shutter button to start. Move your device to completely scan the object. Tap the Shutter button again when done and select Process to generate the image. You can then crop the image, measure the distance between two points, and share the image using a host of different file formats.


The Best LiDAR Apps for Your iPhone and iPad (12)

This app provides even more fun and flexibility to a LiDAR-generated playground. Using the free ARama! app(Opens in a new window), you can take a new or existing picture of a person, shape, or image and place it as a virtual image in a real environment.

(Video) Top 4 Free LiDAR apps for your iPhone14 or iPad Pro 2022 | Live Demo

For a person or a shape, tap the appropriate button, line up the subject in your device’s viewfinder and tap within the white lines to copy it. Move to the spot where you wish to place the item and tap the onscreen button to paste it.

For an existing image, tap the button to access your photo library, choose the image, and then paste it into your real environment. You can place multiple people, objects, and images as virtual items all in the same scene.

Playground AR

The Best LiDAR Apps for Your iPhone and iPad (13)

Here’s an app that’s simple but addictive. With the free Playground AR: Physics Sandbox(Opens in a new window), you place virtual blocks in a real environment to see how they interact with each other. You can choose cubes, rectangles, triangles, cylinders, cue balls, and model cars, then tap a button to put each item on a floor, table, or other surface.

The fun comes in placing and moving the items. For example, you may want to place one object on top of another to see how high your tower can go until it comes crashing down. You can even move certain objects. For instance, you can drive the model car around the screen to crash into your tower of blocks. By watching an ad, you can unlock even more model objects for your current session, including a plane, helicopter, cannon, and catapult.

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(Video) 3D scanner app: best free LiDAR scanning for iPad and iPhone

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Is there a LiDAR app for iPhone? ›

Polycam is the leading 3D capture application for iPhone and iPad! Create high-quality 3D models from photos with any iPhone or iPad, and rapidly generate scans of spaces with the LiDAR sensor.

How do I use my iPhone as a LiDAR scanner? ›

LiDAR Scanning with Spatial's iOS App
  1. In the mobile app, click the + Content button.
  2. Tap Scan Room.
  3. This will activate the LiDAR scanner on the rear of your device, and generates a point cloud of your space.
  4. TIP: moving around the room slowly for best results.
22 Feb 2022

How accurate is LiDAR on iPad? ›

The Short Answer. If you are using Canvas with a LiDAR-enabled iPad or iPhone (includes most Pro models launched since 2020), or with an iPad and Structure Sensor, most measurements in your CAD file should be within 1-2% of what's verified manually with a tape measure, laser distance meter, or existing blueprint.

Does iPad LiDAR work in the dark? ›

Unlike a regular camera, LiDAR and infrared sensors do not need ambient light. They both generate their own light, which you cannot see. Therefore, both sensors will work in complete darkness.

How do I scan room with iPad LiDAR? ›

Follow the instructions on the screen. First, point the device on your feet, then towards the ceiling. After that you can scan the room with the help of the LiDAR technology by pointing your camera on one wall after another and they will be automatically recognized.

How far can iPhone LiDAR reach? ›

The rear lidar sensors on the iPad Pro and iPhone 12 Pro work at a range of up to 5 meters.

Are LiDAR apps free? ›

So far, it's only available on iOS devices that feature a lidar sensor – iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, as well as iPad Pros from 2020 and later. The good news: The app is completely free!

How accurate is iPhone LiDAR? ›

The LiDAR sensors create accurate high-resolution models of small objects with a side length > 10 cm with an absolute accuracy of ± 1 cm.

Can spiders feel LiDAR? ›

Even a little creepy, right? This is explained by the fact that some arachnids are. sensitive to infrared rays, which are used in lidars.

Can iPhone LiDAR measure speed? ›

The frequency of the light changes when the object and detector are not at rest relative to one another, which allows the system to measure speed. In fact, both object distance and speed can be measured much more precisely with LiDAR than with radar's radio waves.

Can I 3D scan from my iPhone? ›

Scandy Pro for iOS allows users to capture full-color 3D scans. Compatible with iPhone X, XS, XS Max, XR, 11, 11 Pro, 12 and 12 Pro, 13 and 13 Pro, 14 and 14 Pro, and the newer iPad Pros (2018 editions or later). Users can save scans and export scans with different file formats (. stl, .

Can a LiDAR be wrong? ›

Although laser guns are extremely accurate, which is one reason more law enforcement departments are switching to those from radar guns, a laser gun is not infallible. The formal name for this device is LIDAR (“light detection and ranging”).

How do I know if my LiDAR is accurate? ›

Normally accuracy is expressed as a range i.e. ± 2cm or as a standard deviation such as 3cm to 1σ (sigma) . To determine Lidar accuracy you will need to take multiple sensor measurements to the same point, then compare those measurements to the real world.

Is LiDAR better than vision? ›

Lidar captures the environment at a much higher detail than a vision based camera system alone can. The higher detail captured from the environment, shown in Figure 4, is then fused with other sensors (radar, vision, etc) to create an HD map and to train a machine learning model that drives the car.

Can LiDAR see through walls? ›

Lidar is a revolutionary technology that can map out an area with a stunning level of detail, including the ability to see through walls, trees, and other obstacles.

Can police use LiDAR at night? ›

Can police lidar be used at night? Yes this form of traffic enforcement can be and is often used at night and speed measuring distances can increase significantly making it extremely hard to know that your speed is being clocked.

Can LiDAR see behind walls? ›

Can Lidar See Through Walls? No. Lidar, or Light Detection and Ranging, emits pulsed laser light which is then reflected from objects. The system calculates the time it takes for the lasers to bounce back to determine a distance based on the speed of light.

Can I scan nearby AirTags? ›

Use Tracker Detect on Android to scan for AirTags

Just hit Scan and search for nearby AirTags. After downloading Tracker Detect, turn on Bluetooth, open the application, agree to the terms and conditions, and tap the blue Scan button to search for nearby items.

Is RoomScan free? ›

A Simple Plan

The RoomScan LiDAR app is as easy to use as tapping each wall, and swiping for doors and openings. LiDAR does the rest, enabling you to create an accurate floor plan in seconds. If you have an iPhone 12 Pro or 2020 iPad Pro, why not try it now, free of charge.

What is the longest range LiDAR? ›

The TF03 is the third generation product of TF series and is a ToF (Time of Flight) LiDAR sensor capable of measuring the distance to an object as close as 10 centimeters and as far as 180 meters!!!

Can iPhone LiDAR damage eyes? ›

Lidar laser range scanner

There is no need to fear using lidar-enabled devices would lead to eye injuries. As you found out in this report, lidars use lasers emitting at wavelengths that can't penetrate your eyes. Additionally, as a safety precaution, lidars only use class 1 eye-safe laser diodes.

Who is the leading LiDAR company? ›

Luminar Technologies

How much is a cheap LiDAR? ›

The average price of vehicle-mounted semi-solid LiDAR is about $1,000.

How much does LiDAR data cost? ›

A robust, entry-level LiDAR system comes in around $23,000 (USD). A drone to go with it comes in at $10,000-16,000. Additional costs include accessories for your drone, batteries, a base station, and a GPS rover which can add $10,000 to the total. Often forgotten out of the equation is insurance.

Is LiDAR more accurate than sonar? ›

The advantages of using LiDAR

They have a large measurement range and very good accuracy. Small objects are generally detected well with LiDAR sensors as they have smaller wavelengths than sonar sensors.

Is radar more accurate than LiDAR? ›

LiDAR uses lasers with a much lower wavelength than the radio waves used by RADAR. Thanks to this, LiDAR has better accuracy and precision, which allows it to detect smaller objects, in more detail, and create 3D images based on the high-resolution image it creates.

Is LiDAR more accurate than radar? ›

Since RADAR wavelengths are larger, their returned results aren't nearly as detailed as LiDAR sensors. LiDAR data is of much higher accuracy and resolution when compared with RADAR data, making it possible to build exact 3D models of objects.

Can LiDAR see under the ground? ›

LiDAR is also used to detect objects underground and is vitally important for archeologists. LiDAR data can find previously unmapped or unknown fault lines contributing to localized earthquakes as well as faults in building structures.

Can LiDAR see into the ground? ›

LiDAR allows acquiring high-resolution data of surfaces, but it cannot penetrate the ground.

What frequency do spiders vibrate at? ›

Spider tremulation tends to produce substrate-borne vibrations in lower frequencies (in the range of 1-300 Hz, Hill & Wessel 2014). Percussive signals are produced when a spider drums its body parts (usually its legs and pedipalps) against a substrate, such as a dry bed of leaves.

Can I turn my iPhone into a speed camera? ›

Speedcam Anywhere turns your smartphone or tablet into a portable speed camera. Simply install the app, stand in a safe place at the side of the road and point your camera at a passing vehicle and tap to capture a short video, which will be analysed to accurately calculate its speed.

Is there an app to check speeders? ›

With your smartphone, you can measure the speed of people or moving objects with the apps Speed Gun (AndroidTM ) and SpeedClock (iOS). Great for sporting events like baseball, football or track and field.

How do I put my iPhone in 3D mode? ›

How to turn on 3D or Haptic Touch
  1. Open Settings and tap Accessibility.
  2. Tap Touch.
  3. Tap 3D & Haptic Touch. Depending on the device you have, only the 3D Touch or the Haptic Touch option might appear. For 3D Touch, turn on the feature, then use the slider to select a sensitivity level.
13 Jan 2022

Why does Elon Musk not like LiDAR? ›

Musk himself explained that “mounting Lidars on the car means filling it with expensive appendages. But on a car every added accessory is a bad thing: it is ridiculous to fill the car with these devices. In fact, Lidar advocates say this technology can do things that cameras absolutely cannot do.

What will replace LiDAR? ›

Automotive supplier Cubtek is using network analyzers from electronics firm Rohde & Schwarz to develop 4D imaging radar for RF measurement of the E-band.

Can LiDAR see fire? ›

Lidar (light detection and ranging) technology uses a laser beam to determine atmospheric properties scanning system is used to monitor atmospheric properties of smoke plumes during fires.

Which LiDAR sensor is best? ›

The LIDAR Sensor by SmartFLy is the most sought-after laser by hobbyists because of its impeccable accuracy and quick functions. Coming to the most important detail, its frequency and range. The device offers a 6-12 Hz accurate scanning frequency along with a whopping 5000Hz range frequency.

How deep can LiDAR detect? ›

Most of the initial uses of LiDAR were for measuring water depth. Depending upon the clarity of the water LiDAR can measure depths from 0.9m to 40m with a vertical accuracy of 15cm and horizontal accuracy of 2.5m.

How far can LiDAR sensors detect? ›

Lidar's distance accuracy allows the vehicle's system to identify and avoid objects at up to 300 meters in a wide variety of weather and lighting conditions.

What Apple products use LiDAR? ›

Apple's latest products, the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, and iPad Pro now feature a built-in lidar scanner that can create 3D representations of close-range objects (up to 5 m away).

What can you use the LiDAR scanner for? ›

LiDAR is a remote sensing method. LiDAR technology uses the light from a laser to collect measurements. These are used to create 3D models and maps of objects and environments.

Do any ipads have LiDAR? ›

The new iPad Pro is the first Apple device to feature a LiDAR scanner. But what is LiDAR, and why has Apple used this sensor on the new iPad? Apple's latest iPad Pro comes with a LiDAR scanner which can be used to measure the distance between two objects.

Does Apple use LiDAR for Face ID? ›

Is LIDAR for Face ID? No, the LIDAR sensor isn't there for advancing Face ID face-scanning login, rather it's for use in Augmented Reality (AR) applications.

Can LiDAR sensor detect human? ›

Person detection is a crucial task for mobile robots navigating in human-populated environments. LiDAR sensors are promising for this task, thanks to their accurate depth measurements and large field of view.

What do you need for LiDAR? ›

A lidar instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver. Airplanes and helicopters are the most commonly used platforms for acquiring lidar data over broad areas.

Can I get LiDAR on my phone? ›

Apple iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro, and Apple iPad Pro. Apple's latest flagship devices are the only devices equipped with LiDAR sensors. When you turn the phone face down, you will notice a black circle at the bottom of the camera.


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