A newly discovered Apple patent reveals what the “group selfies” could look like in a socially distanced world. The feature is described as a “a synthetic group selfie,” where multiple people submit images or video of themselves, that your iPhone can then stitch together using software.
The idea wasn’t inspired by the pandemic. This patent was filed way back in July of 2018, long before “social distancing” entered the collective lexicon. But it was only recently granted to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark Office, and it feels particularly relevant given the current situation.
The process would be pretty simple. One user takes a selfie and “invites” their friends to join in:
Friends will then have the chance to accept the invitation and submit their own selfie (after retaking it a few times to get the angle just right, of course):
Finally, all of the submitted images are then stitched together into a “group photo” that can be edited after the fact by the original creator—by moving people around the frame, for example.
You can see the full patent for yourself at this link.
As we say any time we cover something like this, a granted patent doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be seeing the feature any time soon. It’s possible that this idea will remain an idea for a little while longer. But even as the world attempts to open back up, the ability to take a “group selfie” with far-flung friends or people who wish to continue maintaining social distance could turn into a compelling feature of future iPhones.
Image credits: Header photo by Priscilla Du Preez, CC0