June 16, 2024


Sapiens Digital

Apple Patent Tips Software for Taking Socially Distant Group Selfies

2 min read

Miss snuggling up with friends and family for photos? Apple may have a socially distant solution. The company last week won a patent for “generating synthetic group selfies”—ideal for creating the illusion of collective fun while in quarantine.

According to the patent application, first spotted by Patently Apple, Cupertino devised a method for using still, video, and live-streaming images from various devices to automatically arrange a group snapshot. “The synthetic group selfie can be stored as a multi-resource object that preserves the individual selfie images so that the user who created the synthetic group selfie or a recipient of the synthetic group selfie can modify the arrangement of the individual selfies within the synthetic group selfie,” the patent, filed in July 2018 and approved early this month, said.

Despite the convoluted language, the concept is actually quite simple: One person starts the chain by sharing their selfie with the next participant, who captures an image on their handset before sending it off to the next party, and so on until your group is complete. “Group selfies can be easily generated without having to organize or arrange people around a camera,” Apple explained. “The processing of individual selfies to remove background portions … can be distributed amongst multiple devices.”

Don’t get your hopes up for a synthetic family Christmas card, though. Patented features don’t always end up in consumer products. Apple did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.

A “popular way to capture or memorialize an event or moment,” according to Cupertino, selfies date back to the early 1800s, when photographer Robert Cornelius produced a daguerreotype of himself by uncovering the camera lens, running into the shot, then replacing the lens cap. It wasn’t until the noughties, though, that selfies began to run rampant across the internet.

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