Alone together: Apple patents synthetic group selfies

apple synthetic group selfie images

With social distancing set to be the new normal for some time, a new patent granted to Apple for synthetic group selfies is very timely.

So what is a synthetic group selfie?

“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 filing by Apple says.

Essentially, it’s a selfie where the members of the group take their photos separately. Software then stitches the images together to create one group image.

Apple’s patent outlines a few ways you can create these images on your iPad or iPhone. Users will essentially invite a contact to contribute to the image. The contact can then send an image of themselves for the group selfie.

This contributed image can be an existing photo in a phone gallery, a video still, or a new selfie.

The software then creates a composite image using a photo of the user, their contacts’ images, and a background image.

Patently Apple spotted the filing, which the US Patent and Trademark Office recently granted to Apple. While the company filed the patent some years ago, the final approval this year couldn’t come at a more fitting time.

Apple originally filed the patent as a way to make group selfies easier to take. After all, getting everyone into the camera’s field of view can be difficult.

However, with social distancing encouraged during the coronavirus pandemic, this could be a useful way to still take group photos without getting physically close to others.

Feature image: Apple

Megan Ellis, Editor
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