Apple may be building a way to take group selfies with friends even when you're not together
Applehas patented an iPhonefeature that would make it possible to take a selfie with your friends even when you're not physically together.
- The feature would let you invite others to join a selfie when taking still photos, videos, and live videos.
- The iPhone's software would automatically arrange the photo, but there would be an option to edit it, according to the patent.
- Since the idea is just a patent at the moment, it's unclear if it will ever actually launch.
Apple wants to make it easier to take
A recently published Apple patent details a system in which an iPhone would be able to arrange individual selfies from multiple devices into one image, essentially creating a "synthetic group selfie." Blog Patently Apple first discovered the patent.
Such a system would work for still photos, videos, and live-streamed videos, according to the document. With this feature, an iPhone would be able to create the group photo automatically while also providing the ability for participants to arrange the positioning of those in the photo.
Based on the images, it looks like a user would launch a group selfie by tapping a button in the iPhone's camera software for inviting others to join.
There would also be an option to accept or retake the selfie once it's been captured, as shown in the image below.
As some outlets, like Protocol, have pointed out, such a feature could make it possible to take selfies even while remaining socially distanced during the COVID-19 pandemic. But beyond that, the feature could be generally useful for situations in which there may be too many people to squeeze into a shot manually.
It's important to remember that patents don't always translate into actual products or features. Apple frequently patents different types of technologies, and doing so does not guarantee that they'll end up in the hands of consumers. The company has patented ideas like camera add-ons for the iPhone and an activity-monitoring device for skiers and bikers, none of which have ever seen the light of day. What patents do indicate, however, is that Apple is at least thinking about or experimenting with such ideas.
The patent does come as the iPhone's camera and photo gallery have been major areas of focus in the company's recent software updates. Apple introduced a new layout for the camera roll that sorts images into days, months, or years, and removes duplicate shots and screenshots to make your photo gallery feel neater in iOS 13, the latest software version that launched in September. The camera was also a big focus in iOS 12, since it introduced effects like Animoji and filters to FaceTime.
Apple is expected to unveil its next big iPhone update at the end of the month during its virtual Worldwide Developers Conference, where we'll get a better sense of the camera updates Apple may be planning for the iPhone.
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