Apple has been granted a patent for a photo editing feature that allows users to merge several individual selfies into a single group image automatically.
According to a patent application filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the feature will let users generate a synthetic group selfie with participants who aren’t necessarily within close proximity to each other.
“For example, a synthetic group selfie can be an arrangement or composition of individual selfies obtained from a plurality of computing devices into a single group image,” the patent application stated.
This could make it easier to take group photos without having to arrange or organise people around a single camera, making it an ideal solution for social-distancing
How it works
The synthetic group image can be generated from multiple individual selfie images, which may be sourced from still images, stored video images, or live streaming video images.
The technology will be able to automatically arrange these images into the synthetic group selfie.
The patent further noted the processing power needed to remove background portions of individual selfie images can be distributed between the multiple participating devices.
The photo then is stored as a multi-resource object which preserves the original individual images so that the group selfie creator can later go and change the arrangement of the pictures.
The feature may be particularly attractive to groups of friends who want to take pictures together but are unable to do so due to various COVID-19 lockdown restrictions around the world.
While the technology is ideal for this purpose, it should be noted Apple had already filed this particular patent in July of 2018, long before the pandemic started.
It’s not clear whether or when Apple support this feature, nor which devices will be capable of generating the synthetic group selfies.
iPhone 12 and 13 expectations
Apple’s next major smartphone – the iPhone 12 – is expected to be launched later in 2020.
A number of details regarding the smartphone have recently been leaked, including claims that it will feature a 120Hz display and improved photographic capabilities.
Another report from Japanese website Mac Otakara has suggested its successor – the iPhone 13 – will drop Apple’s proprietary Lightning port for a USB-C connector.
In addition to this, the report said it will come with a 5.5-inch display with no notch and ultra-thin bezels.