Patent reveals Apple’s plan to revolutionize the way we take selfies

Patent reveals Apple’s plan to revolutionize the way we take selfies
While Apple has a vast lineup of “Pro” products, many of its software features are targeted towards casual users. The TrueDepth camera introduced with the iPhone X allowed for the super-secure Face ID but also the now popular animojis. And last year, with the introduction of the iPhone 11 family, we got slofies -- slow-motion selfies.

Now, we have a glimpse of what Apple could have in store for a future iPhone release. The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published an Apple patent for “Generating synthetic group selfies”. The patent, spotted by SlashGear, describes a method for combining images from multiple Apple devices into one group selfie. Don’t think Apple is trying to quickly cash in on social distancing, however; the original filing was done back in 2018.

The new app (or camera mode) will use the depth sensors on the different users’ devices to accurately separate them from their backgrounds in order to seamlessly combine them into one synthetic group selfie.

Apple plans to go beyond simple pictures. The patent states that videos and even live streams can be used as a source. The different data streams will be separated into individual layers that can be resized and repositioned before capturing the final group selfie. Each participant will be able to make their own arrangement. 

The end result can also be either a picture or a short video, which might look similar to the moving photos in the Harry Potter universe.

As far as patents go, this one seems extremely likely to manifest itself in a real product. iPhones already have plenty of processing power and apart from the cheap iPhone SE, all new models have sensors that can easily separate a person taking a selfie from their background.

With the idea being in the works for a couple of years, we won’t be surprised if the synthetic group selfie feature arrives with the iPhone 12 family later this year.

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