What’s the Range of LIDAR Technology in Smartphones?

LIDAR is a fancy term for a laser that measures the time for reflected light to return back to the receiver. Can it help your business? Let's collaborate to find out.


LIDAR is not just for finding secret Mayan temples… You may have heard the term LIDAR around lately, it’s a fancy term for a laser that measures the time for reflected light to return back to the receiver. With that reading you can take accurate measurements of hard surfaces and use them to create 3D models and other cool stuff like finding ancient temples under the canopy of the jungle.

Now you’re playing with PORTABLE POWER… Starting with the release of iPhone 12, Apple incorporated LIDAR technology into the new phones which makes any curious tech geek’s mouth water. What kind of cool and exciting things can we do in our apps using this powerful technology?!

We were asked that question a couple of weeks ago by one of our clients. We built a home improvement app for them in 2016, and it takes measurements of various external housing materials. They were wondering if LIDAR could make that job easier by auto-measuring with an acceptable margin of error and shorten the time it takes for them to do estimations.

iPhone LIDAR has a range of 5 Meters or 16.4 Feet

Just a little bit closer… After some research, the Valtira team determined it could be a suitable solution for surfaces fairly close to the phone, but the iPhone LIDAR has a range of 5 Meters or 16.4 Feet. While that might be useful in some situations, it wasn’t an option for estimators that need to take 2nd floor readings from further away.

There are more options for better range LIDAR (100m+) like the Geoslam products but they are a much heavier cost commitment. If you have a workforce that needs 10’s/100’s/1000’s of the devices it may not be a viable option.

So should you use LIDAR, heck yeah you should, but just make sure the range you’re working with is within those boundaries. 

Btw… If you are ever wondering if a new technology could help improve your business processes, give us a shout. We can perform quick research spikes that can validate if a tech is suitable for your app before spending the big bucks on it.

Ready to get started or have questions?

We’d love to talk about how we can work together or help you to brainstorm your next project and see how we might help.

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