Before we start, you need to know that LiDAR Scanner is not available for iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. Apple reserved them for the Pro and Pro Max versions.
What is LiDAR and Where is it Located on Your iPhone?
LiDAR is the abbreviation of Light Detection and Ranging. Some people just prefer to call it 3D laser scanning.
The science behind it is very simple. This tech will bounce light waves at surfaces and then measure the reaction time to determine the distance and shape of objects.
LiDAR technology can give you crisper scans using small equipment because it uses signals in the nanometer range.
In simple words, LiDAR is a technology that allows 3D modeling of objects in any type of environment and even the entire surrounding.
Apple did not invent LiDAR technology. It has existed for quite some time. Apple only optimized this technology for smartphones. In most cases, smartphones use LiDAR through augmented reality apps.
But that’s not the only use. There are many other uses such as smartphone photography, measurement, and more.
So, where exactly is this LiDAR scanner located?
The LiDAR scanner is located on the back side of your iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. This means that only the rear-facing camera of your iPhone can use the LiDAR scanner.
How To Use LiDAR Scanner on iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max?
There is no direct way of using the LiDAR scanner. It can be used only when you use apps that support LiDAR scanning.
By default, your iPhone’s camera app can use the LiDAR scanner. Both the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max models have the best camera specifications among all iPhone models so far. They are extremely capable cameras.
However, LiDAR helps to improve their performance further. This is especially true when you use your iPhone 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max for low-light photography.
Under low-light conditions, the LiDAR scanner help’s your phone’s camera to auto-focus quickly, eventually leading to better-contrasted photos in light or low-light conditions.
But how does it do that?
Your iPhone sends out waves of light pulses in the form of infrared dots. The LiDAR sensor can measure every dot and creates an entire field of points, mapping out distances. The sensor can then “mesh” the dimensions of any space and all objects present in that space.
These light pulses or infrared lasers are not visible to normal eyes. However, if you use a night vision camera, you can easily see those infrared lasers.
The Measure App by Apple is another application that uses the LiDAR scanner and helps you to take accurate measurements of your physical environment. Essentially, using the LiDAR scanner, the Measure App turns your iPhone into a tape measure.
Unfortunately, those are the only two native apps of Apple that allow you to use the LiDAR scanner.
If you want to do more with the LiDAR scanner, you will need third-party apps.
Some Third-Party Apps That Use the LiDAR Scanner
IKEA Place: This app uses the LiDAR scanner to help you test furniture by previewing true-to-scale models. You don’t need to leave your apartment. You can test a single piece of furniture or multiple pieces of furniture in a single location.
Polycam: Not only will this app use LiDAR to create a 3D model of any object in your surroundings, but you can also create 3D models using just an image. You can later edit these 3D models using the proper software.
Canvas: This is another app that uses the power of your iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max and scans any interior space to create 3D models. These models can then be edited using programs like SketchUp, AutoCAD, Revit, etc. This app is particularly useful for professionals.
SiteScape: One of the best LiDAR apps for architects and engineers, SiteScape will allow you to capture every field you need. Just point and shoot! The app will allow you to transfer the output to any CAD software.
In case you are interested in finding iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max compatible LiDAR apps, check out this post.