TECH CRUNCH - Jan 7 - TikTok confirmed it has launched its first-ever lidar-powered effect to help its users ring in the new year. The effect features an AR ball, similar to the one that drops in Times Square on New Year's Eve. After a countdown, the ball drops and explodes to fill the room with confetti, as well as a floating "2021" in the air. Support for lidar, or light detection and ranging, was introduced on the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, in the fall. The technology helps the iPhone better understand the world around, by measuring how long it takes for light to reach an object in the space and reflect back.