2.5 Release - LiDAR on iPhone 12 Pro, Swatch Size Estimator, and more!

Today, we’re releasing Primer 2.5 with a few big updates.

Download Primer on the App Store

LiDAR on the iPhone 12 Pro

Earlier this year, we were excited to make Primer work with the LiDAR sensor on the iPad Pro. It enabled us to realistically occlude (“mask”) furniture, and instantly place our AR swatch.

Just a few years ago, this sensor would have been an exorbitant cost and size. Now, with the iPhone 12 Pro, it resides in your pocket.

When you install Primer on the iPhone 12 Pro, you will be able to just tap a wall and have it transform. When the Primer app detects an object in front, it smartly masks out the object in real-time.

In the background, we’re fetching the raw data from the LiDAR sensor at 60-fps and using Metal shaders to polish the rendered result. Rendering pipelines can be complicated, and an extraordinary amount of “compute” is happening on device. We tried really hard to hide this complexity from any user and just have the preview look good.

We write all of our own tools, no matter what project we’re building. Pretty much anything that we’re doing requires some sort of design tool that didn’t exist before. In fact, the design tools that we write to do the projects that we’re doing are a sort of product in and of themselves.I think in reality, today, if you use the same tools as everyone else, you kind of build the same products. If you write your own tools, you can sort of see new things, design new things. - Saul Griffth

Swatch Size Estimator

We set out to build Primer “camera-first”. Instead of tacking on AR and visualization features, we wanted your design process and experimentation at the fore front.

A core part of that design process is understanding the measurements of your space and the products you want to place in it. With our new “swatch size estimator”, you can get an accurate real-world measurement of the length, width, square footage, square meters, and even the paint gallons (if you’re visualizing paint).

This feature is further enhanced in accuracy by the LiDAR sensor, especially on bare walls.

I went around and talked with a number of composers to see if the problems they were facing [capturing musical ideas composed at a piano] were the same. Most of them said that they themselves write using the piano as an instrument, but that nobody else does. - Severo Ornstein

Walkthrough Design Updates

We spruced up the new user experience and swatch placement instructions with new videos. For the vast majority of our users Primer is their first-ever AR experience, we really care about making the experience clear and simple.

New App Icons

As a little Easter egg, you can change the Primer app icon if you go to the Favorites tab and tap on the paint-brush icon. My favorite is the purple, but the 90’s cup throwback is a classic.