Apple wants to make it easy for you to generate ‘synthetic group selfies’

Apple has filed for a patent (number 20190102924) for “generating synthetic group selfies.” 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 (e.g., synthetic group selfie). 

The individual selfie images can be still images, stored video images, or live streaming images. Thus, the synthetic group selfie can be a composition of still images, stored video images, or live streaming video images. The computing device can automatically arrange the individual selfies into the synthetic group selfie. 

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.

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In the patent filing, Apple notes that, typically, when taking or capturing a self-image, the user holds a computing device (e.g., smartphone, tablet computer, etc.) having a forward facing image sensor in close proximity to the user by holding the computing device at arm's length to capture an image of the user with the forward facing image sensor. In some cases, the user will use a device (e.g., a selfie stick) to extend the range of the user's arm so that the forward facing image capturing sensor can capture a wider image. 

An individual selfie can, for example, be an image captured by a user of an image capturing device where the subject captured in the image is the user. When a user wishes to memorialize an event with friends, the user can capture a group selfie where the self-image includes the user and the user's friends. While capturing an individual selfie can be accomplished easily since only the user needs to be placed within the field of view of the image capturing device, capturing a group selfie can be much more difficult since the user must arrange the user and the user's friends within the field of view of the image capture device when capturing the group selfie. Apple says an easier mechanism for capturing a group selfie would be advantageous. 

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.