Macs and iOS devices may soon identify folks in photos, then send them a copy of the picture

Apple wants your Mac, iPhone and iPad to be able to recognize people in a photograph by facial recognition, then send them a copy of the picture. The company has filed for a patent (number 20150227782) with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for "systems and methods for sending digital images."

Per the patent filing, you can use your iPhone or iPad to take a picture. The picture may be sent from your iOS device to other users via email or text-message by a communication application. Sending the picture may include selecting the recipients and selecting the image to send. 

The location to which the image would be sent is based on data in your Contacts app. You can add contact information for recognized faces lacking contact information, and you can update existing contact info as needed. 

Addresses of individuals not in the picture may also be added to a recipient list and the picture sent to those individuals as well as the identified individuals. Means of delivering the photo can include email, SMS messaging and posting to a social network. 

Here's Apple's abstract of the invention: "Facial recognition algorithms may identify the faces of one or more people in a digital image. Multiple types of communication may be available for the different people in the digital image. A user interface may be presented indicating recognized faces along with the available forms of communication for the corresponding person. An indication of the total number of people available to be communicated with using each form of communication may be presented. 

"The user may have the option to choose one or more forms of communication, causing the digital image to be sent to the recipients using the selected forms of communication. An individual may have provided information for facial recognition of the individual to a service. Based on the information, the service may recognize that the individual is in an uploaded picture and send the digital image to the user account of the individual."