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Microsoft's Seeing AI app now supports LiDAR scanners from iPhone 12

iPhone 12 Blue Iphone 12 Pro Pacific Blue
iPhone 12 Blue Iphone 12 Pro Pacific Blue (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's Seeing AI app now supports the LiDAR scanners of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
  • LiDAR support means that the app can scan rooms and utilize spatial audio.
  • The same update also brings several other new features and improvements to the app.

Microsoft's Seeing AI app scans and narrates the world. It allows blind people or people with low vision to have more access to information around them. Now, the app can take advantage of the LiDAR scanners in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max. With LiDAR support, the app can utilize spatial audio to scan rooms.

Microsoft has shown off the Seeing AI app several times over the last few years, including when it began as a prototype and in real-world examples.

LiDAR support and the app's latest update improve the capabilities of the app. Here's the complete changelog as found on the App Store (opens in new tab):

  • The new World channel, available on devices with a LiDAR scanner running iOS 14, enables you to explore an unfamiliar space in 3D, using spatial audio. When wearing headphones, you will hear objects around you announced from their location in the room. You can also find a particular object by placing an audio beacon on it. We are keen to hear your feedback on this early experiment, and invite you to work with us as we explore this new area together with the community.
  • On iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, the haptic proximity sensor enables you to point the LiDAR scanner and feel the distance to things around you
  • The main screen has been visually redesigned to improve contrast and widen the camera's field of view
  • Improvements to image descriptions on the Scene channel, and when browsing photos on your phone
  • Improved text recognition accuracy on the Document channel
  • Seeing AI is now available in seven additional languages: Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, and Swedish
  • Plus, various bug fixes under the hood

In addition to using the LiDAR scanner to help people explore rooms, the app can use the technology to place audio beacons onto objects. It also has a new feature that uses the haptic proximity sensor to feel the distance that objects are away from you.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).