The iPhone 12 Pro models are expected to ship with a LiDAR scanner similar to the one that debuted earlier this year on the iPad Pro. The LiDAR scanner uses reflected light to map your surroundings and accurately measure your distance to nearby objects. This distance, or more accurately depth, map can be used in augmented reality applications and AR games such as Pokemon Go.
Its usefulness doesn’t end there. The data collected by the LiDAR scanner also could be used by the iPhone’s camera. It could improve autofocusing, especially in low light conditions, which are challenging for most cameras. LiDAR also may play a role in depth-based effects such as portrait mode, which focuses on a subject and blurs the background.