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iPhone 13 LiDAR for mh dips

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ryancj31
(@ryancj31)
10+ posts Member

I’ve seen a few posts on here regarding different methods for acquiring mh dips. Laser measurers, rod angle readers, Chris-nik pizza cutter thing, etc. I’ve tried them all over the years and there is pros and cons, abilities and limitations to them all.

Has anyone used the LiDAR built into the new iPhones? Seems pretty promising to me. I mentioned it to my boss and showed him the YouTube video linked below. He is apparently going to buy one tonight. Here’s your chance to talk him out of it.

 

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Topic starter Posted : October 7, 2021 1:51 pm
Richard Imrie
(@richard-imrie)
1,000+ posts Member

I saw a vid with a chappie doing kerb and guttering with it, tied into survey control marks, and it looked pretty good. I expect Apple will be sending me this product FOC to review, and I'm going to do this with it.

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Posted : October 7, 2021 2:05 pm
Brad Ott liked
StLSurveyor
(@stlsurveyor)
1,000+ posts Supporter

I would be interested to see if it works in the dark? 

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Posted : October 7, 2021 2:22 pm

kayakjb5
(@kayakjb5)
FNG Member

@stlsurveyor Just tried scanning a room in my house in the dark. It was acting really weird, did capture some geometry, but I would say it's not usable. 

 

Kind of disappointed. That tells me it may not be using an actual laser but a shutter system similar to some other products on the market.

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Posted : October 7, 2021 3:52 pm
Brad Ott liked
ryancj31
(@ryancj31)
10+ posts Member

@kayakjb5 tis a bit disappointing to hear that. It seems like there is not much info on how the LiDAR actually works in the phone. All sources seem to indicate it is a legit LiDAR sensor so I would think that should still operate without any light?

Maybe we will have to rig up an additional light source when we stick it down a mh tomorrow. Or just turn the light on the phone? I will update tomorrow with our results. 

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Topic starter Posted : October 7, 2021 5:25 pm
Brad Ott liked
StLSurveyor
(@stlsurveyor)
1,000+ posts Supporter

@ryancj31  Yeah there is no "real" lidar happening with the iPhone. More than likely this is a washed down version of P4D or similar. Digital photogrammetry at you fingertips. But it is a cool feature that will undoubtedly improve.

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Posted : October 7, 2021 6:32 pm

ryancj31
(@ryancj31)
10+ posts Member

@stlsurveyor I’m pretty sure it is a true LiDAR sensor. I believe other iPhones do use the photogrammetry method to make measurements which would require some minimal level of lighting. Look for “measure” app. It is surprising accurate with the stuff I measured. Again quite sparse with info on how it actually works - I’m a bit puzzled, especially since I only have a single camera lens. I could see how this would be easily done with dual or triple lenses.

from some tech website:
“But, similar to the iPhone 12 lineup, the lidar scanner is still only available on the Pro and Pro Max. This is the second generation of iPhones to only feature a lidar scanner on its higher-end models.

The scanner, which made its debut in the 2020 iPad Pro, can be seen on both the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The scanner is used to help with autofocus and taking pictures in low lighting. (You can also use lidar to measure your friends' heights at parties, which is kind of cool.)”

note: if you don’t have the iPhone 12max or 13max you can still use the “measure” app to measure your friends height at parties via the photogrammetry method. 

here’s another tech site:

https://arstechnica.com/cars/2020/10/the-technology-behind-the-iphone-lidar-may-be-coming-soon-to-cars/

 

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Topic starter Posted : October 7, 2021 7:51 pm
StLSurveyor
(@stlsurveyor)
1,000+ posts Supporter

@ryancj31 If it was a true liDAR sensor then visible light would have no affect on its capabilities besides true color. They do have some great VooDoo happening though and I am sure the the secrets are closely held.  It appears to be a form of VCSELS LiDAR similar to the Ouster sensors, which have no "spinning" emitters. 

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Posted : October 8, 2021 3:47 am
John Putnam
(@john-putnam)
1,000+ posts Member

I love the part at 4 minutes in where he has to stand on a bucket to see the bubble.  Reminds me of an former colleague that, on occasions, would have to stand on the T2000 box to see through the instrument.

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Posted : October 8, 2021 7:10 am
ryancj31 liked

Mjankor
(@martin_au)
50+ posts Member
Posted by: @ryancj31

I’ve seen a few posts on here regarding different methods for acquiring mh dips. Laser measurers, rod angle readers, Chris-nik pizza cutter thing, etc. I’ve tried them all over the years and there is pros and cons, abilities and limitations to them all.

Has anyone used the LiDAR built into the new iPhones? Seems pretty promising to me. I mentioned it to my boss and showed him the YouTube video linked below. He is apparently going to buy one tonight. Here’s your chance to talk him out of it.

Yep. Been using it for a bit as an r&d project. Works well so long as you learn and respect the basic limitations of the iPhone’s LiDAR. 

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Posted : October 8, 2021 12:02 pm
Brad Ott liked
Richard Imrie
(@richard-imrie)
1,000+ posts Member

@john-putnam 

He could have used his phone to see the bubble.

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Posted : October 8, 2021 12:03 pm
Mjankor
(@martin_au)
50+ posts Member

@stlsurveyor Definitely real LiDAR. The reason the mapping fails in the dark is most apps use the camera to help with the SLAM, similar to the RTC360. No camera, no visual SLAM.

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Posted : October 8, 2021 12:04 pm
dmyhill liked

dmyhill
(@dmyhill)
1,000+ posts Supporter

@stlsurveyor 

I am making a guess after looking at the videos:

 

The lidar measures distances, but it is highly unlikely that the internal gyro would be accurate enough to provide good angle orientation, and the internal GNSS is certainly not good enough to create a useable cloud from a moving phone. (That said hand held scanners do exist and work well for short distances.) 

My guess: The internal camera provides additional orientation information for processing by utilizing SfM and the video that is recorded along with the scan data. It seems likely that all sorts of clues are used by the algorithm (gyro,GNSS,SfM) in order to obtain a useful scan.

 

In essence, this is still a party trick, but a cool one. If we can use the party trick, that would be outstanding. 

This post was modified 2 months ago by dmyhill
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Posted : October 8, 2021 12:37 pm
dmyhill
(@dmyhill)
1,000+ posts Supporter

@martin_au 

So, I wasn't completely wrong!

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Posted : October 8, 2021 12:41 pm
StLSurveyor
(@stlsurveyor)
1,000+ posts Supporter

@dmyhill @martin_au I would like to see the Bad Elf (or Similar) external GNSS receiver attached and see if the accuracies improve, introduce a tripod? Lots of potential here...

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Posted : October 9, 2021 5:57 am

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