Can I use Canvas with an iPad or iPhone without LiDAR?

The Short Answer

Yes! It is possible to use Canvas without LiDAR, as long as you have an iPhone 8 or higher. However, you will face some limitations, primarily related to accuracy. Canvas is not available on Android at this time, but if you would like to be notified of any changes, please contact us at support@canvas.io to be added to our notification list.
You can learn more about compatible devices here, or download Canvas for non-LiDAR iPhones  here.

The Long Answer

Canvas will give you the best results when used with a LiDAR-enabled iPhone or iPad, as the LiDAR sensor directly measures distances as you scan. The core computer vision technology that powers Canvas can work with just the built-in cameras on any iPhone 8 or higher, but you will primarily run into two limitations.

Accuracy

Where using Canvas with LiDAR will typically yield measurements within 1-2% of what's verified manually, using Canvas with just the iOS camera will generally yield measurements closer to 5%. You can learn more about accuracy here.

Mesh Quality

Without a LiDAR sensor measuring depth directly, the mesh quality may be rougher, including more distortion or doubling. This can make it more challenging for you to measure the scan on your own, but, assuming you followed the scanning tips in-app, should not block our ability to create a CAD model (outside of the aforementioned accuracy limitations).    
We primarily recommend using Canvas without LiDAR to test out scanning on a device you already have (prior to investing in a LiDAR-enabled device), or to ask a client to scan a room to work with you remotely early on in a project. If you are planning to scan spaces regularly, we highly recommend upgrading to a device with LiDAR.

Range

The maximum range of a non-LiDAR iPhone is ~10 feet (compared to 15 feet when using a LiDAR-enabled device), so for best results, you'll want to keep all walls and architectural features within 3-10 feet. 

Additionally, when using a non-LiDAR device, you are limited to the 360 Spin scanning mode. All LiDAR-enabled devices are capable of Walkthrough mode, which allows you to move around the space as you scan, increasing the area that can be covered in a single scan. 

Area Estimation 

As our in-app square-footage estimation algorithms are optimized for scans captured with LiDAR devices, you may find that the final square footage processed may be outside the in-app estimated range.