Apple wins patent for ‘synthetic group selfies’ feature

Apple is preparing for a post-pandemic world by patenting a new feature that would allow iPhone users to create ‘synthetic group selfies’ even when social distancing.

The new patent discovered by Patently Apple over the weekend details the tech behind the feature.

It says that users with an Apple device would be able to invite other people to take part in a group selfie.

Users who have been invited will get an on-screen prompt asking them whether they want to ‘accept’ or ‘decline’ the invite.

Pictures in the patent show three people taking part in the group selfie, which suggests that each individual is then framed accordingly so that it looks like an authentic shot.

The group selfie is not restricted to a live shot either as selfies stored in photos, video and from live streaming can be used to create the group version.

The user is also able to keep the original selfie and make edits to the group image, giving them the ability to change their position in the picture.

The patent was filed by Apple back in 2018, a time when the need for tech to simulate group selfies may not have been a pressing concern – however, this has now turned out to be prescient amid the outbreak of COVID-19.

Apple files a lot of patents, so there is no indication whether this particular feature will ever see the light of day.

It does seem like it would be ideal for social gatherings during the next 12 months though as some sort of social distancing will be in place for the foreseeable future.

In other news, Apple released a range of tools and resources to app developers as part of its Password Manager Resources project on Monday.

The open-source initiative aims to improve the integration and ease of use of password management applications.

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About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

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