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TikTok launches AR effect using LiDAR on iPhone 12 Pro

Credit: Solen Feyissa

Social media service TikTok has added a new AR video effect for users with LiDAR-equipped iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, blending digital images into videos.

TikTok has launched what it calls the first of a series of "innovative effects" for users with the iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max. Using the LiDAR sensor in those phones, TikTok mixes AR-based objects and text into a real-world view.

The LiDAR scanner in these phones, and also 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.

Announced on TikTok's Twitter feed, the new effect is not yet available worldwide. According to TechCrunch, some number of unnamed countries will not get the effect.

To see if it's available, users can tap TikTok's plus sign to start creating a video, then choose Effects. The new AR option will be in the New Effects tab within the TikTok app.

While TikTok has faced a ban in the US, Apple has most recently been promoting the iPhone 12 mini through the service. It is also now offering TikTok users four months of free Apple Music.