Apple iPad Pro's Lidar Scanner says a lot about iPhone 12 and beyond – Business Insider – Business Insider

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  • Apple’s new iPad Pro is its first gadget built around augmented reality, potentially laying the foundation for future products rumored to be in the company’s pipeline — like the iPhone 12 and AR smart glasses.
  • The iPad Pro has a Lidar sensor which helps the tablet better understand your surroundings, marking the first time Apple has added new hardware dedicated to AR to one of its products.
  • How developers embrace the iPad Pro’s new Lidar sensor will be critical in determining the usefulness of AR apps for the iPhone and iPad in the future.
  • It also comes after Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly discussed his enthusiasm for augmented reality.  
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It’s rare for Apple to drop hints about the new technologies and product areas the company is interested in before making an announcement. But CEO Tim Cook has been talking about augmented reality and its potential benefits for years — long before Apple even announced ARKit, the framework it launched in 2017 for developers looking to build AR-enabled apps for the iPhone and iPad.

Now, Apple’s new iPad Pro, announced last week, may provide the biggest hint yet at where the company’s hardware products are headed. The iPad Pro is Apple’s first gadget to come with dedicated hardware for augmented reality with its Lidar sensor, an addition that should make the iPad Pro better at understanding your surroundings to make augmented reality apps feel more realistic.

Augmented reality may not be a technology that most people care about, or are even very familiar with just yet. But the fact that it’s one of the headlining features of the new iPad Pro could mean that’s about to change. The new iPad Pro, with its dedicated AR sensors, may also lay the groundwork for what Apple could have planned for the iPhone and beyond.

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