The Death of “Say Cheese”? Apple’s Trying to Patent a Synthetic Group Selfie App


Apple is apparently trying to patent technology that will generate group selfies for you and your friends, totally removing all the effort necessary on your part.

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Image by Film Bros

The technology that the Cupertino firm is trying to patent wouldn’t just generate synthetic, ideal selfies but would also be able to create amazing group shots using the same technology.

This would basically eliminate the need to edit between multiple group pictures to make sure you get the ideal capture. According to DPReview, the patent “describes a system in which several mobile devices are used to capture self portraits of each user individually.”

Apparently, it works through an invite system where one person invites others to submit their favorite selfie for the group shot then it compiles the results together into a composite photo.

DPReview describes it even further: “Computational imaging methods are then used to cut out the subjects in all images and arranged in one shot in a way that resembles a real group shot, with heads staggered in rows to fit subjects at the back into the gap between the two faces in front of them. The final layout will be optimized for the number of people in the shot and the scaling of the image.”

Once the layout is finalized a background will then be applied to the image. The image will also store data on the individual elements within the photo for further tweaking and rearranging later.

There’s something both cyberpunk and soulless about that description, but, as they say, the proof will probably be in the pudding.

As DPReview notes, just because Apple filed a patent on this kind of app doesn’t mean that we will definitely see it in the future but you never know. From a smartphone photography standpoint, it seems to fall in line with most apps coming out these days.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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