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Apple iPad Pro 2020: iFixit teardown demonstrates sparser LIDAR scanning compared to Apple's FaceID sensor

A look at the guts of the new iPad Pro. (Image source: iFixit)
A look at the guts of the new iPad Pro. (Image source: iFixit)
Apple has not made any improvements to the repairability of its latest iPad Pros compared to their predecessors. It has added a LIDAR sensor though, and iFixit has revealed how it works. Sadly, it is not as accurate as FaceID and the TrueDepth cameras found in modern iPhones.

As we have covered previously, one of the standout features of the new iPad Pro series is its LiDAR sensor. While we opined that LiDAR has the potential to offer greater accuracy than contemporary 3D ToF cameras do, iFixit has clarified the levels of depth-sensing that the iPad Pro offers.

As the video below demonstrates, LiDAR operates like the TrueDepth camera that Apple uses for FaceID. Simply, both sensors bounce infrared dots off objects to calculate depth of field information. However, the LiDAR sensor in the iPad Pro does not use as many projections to calculate this information as the TrueDepth camera does. Fewer data points correlate with less detailed depth of field information, meaning that the iPad Pro cannot match recent iPhones in this regard.

With that said, the LiDAR and TrueDepth sensors have different uses. LiDAR does not necessarily need to be as accurate as the TrueDepth camera or FaceID because the iPad Pro uses it for AR applications, not identifying faces. While LiDAR may well offer greater accuracy than conventional 3D ToF cameras do, it will not take the iPad Pro's AR capabilities beyond those of recent iPhones, especially if you are a fan of Animojis or Memojis.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 03 > Apple iPad Pro 2020: iFixit teardown demonstrates sparser LIDAR scanning compared to Apple's FaceID sensor
Alex Alderson, 2020-03-30 (Update: 2020-03-30)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.