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Apple releases ARKit 3.5 with support for the new iPad Pro's LiDAR sensor

2020 iPad Pro
2020 iPad Pro (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has released ARKit 3.5 to developers today.
  • The update brings Scene Geometry, Instant AR, and more.
  • All of the features make use of the new iPad Pro's LiDAR scanner.

Today, Apple released ARKit 3.5 to developers in an announcement on the company's developer website (opens in new tab). The update allows developers to take advantage of the new LiDAR scanner in the new iPad Pro to bring new AR experiences to their apps.

According to the update notes, ARKit 3.5 brings Scene Geometry, Instant AR, and Improved Motion Capture and People Occlusion to developers.

"ARKit 3.5 uses the new LiDAR Scanner and depth-sensing system on iPad Pro to make AR experiences more realistic than ever before. The new Scene Geometry API lets you capture a 3D representation of the world in real time, enabling object occlusion and real-world physics for virtual objects. All experiences enabled by ARKit automatically benefit from new instant AR placement, and improved Motion Capture and People Occlusion."

Scene Geometry allows developers to use the LiDAR scanner to create a topological map of a space that brings real-world physics to AR experiences in their app. You can now also instantly place AR objects in the real world without scanning the environment.

**Scene GeometryScene Geometry lets you create a topological map of your space with labels identifying floors, walls, ceilings, windows, doors, and seats. This deep understanding of the real world unlocks object occlusion and real-world physics for virtual objects, and also gives you more information to power your AR workflows.**Instant ARThe LiDAR Scanner on iPad Pro enables incredibly quick plane detection, allowing for the instant placement of AR objects in the real world without scanning. Instant AR placement is automatically enabled on iPad Pro for all apps built with ARKit, without any code changes.**Improved Motion Capture and People OcclusionWith ARKit 3.5 on iPad Pro, depth estimation in People Occlusion and height estimation in Motion Capture are more accurate. These two features improve on iPad Pro in all apps built with ARKit, without any code changes.

You can check out all of the new changes to ARKit on Apple's developer website (opens in new tab).

Joe Wituschek
Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.