Apple developing iPhone feature that will allow users to create socially distanced group selfies

The technology giant has been granted a patent for the new photo technology

Apple has won a patent to create technology to allow for socially distanced group selfies. Unsplash 
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iPhone users may soon be able to create group selfies with their friends without actually seeing them.

Apple has been granted a patent for new technology to create synthetic group selfies, allowing users to make it look as though they are together, even when they are not.

While the patent was filed long before the onslaught of the coronavirus, the technology could be a game changer for social media users who are forced to socially distance from friends and loved ones.

According to the patent, the feature would allow iPhones and other Apple products to take people’s individual pictures and arrange them together to create one overall group selfie. The technology will also work for video, according to Apple.

Originally filed in 2018, the patent notes the difficulty people can face arranging a group of people for a photo. "Thus, an easier mechanism for capturing a group selfie would be advantageous," it says.

While there are no details as to exactly how the new technology will work yet, it will likely be an extension of an existing feature on later iPhone models that allows the camera to recognise the difference between a person in the front of an image and the background, and separate the two.

It’s not clear how long it will be until Apple users will be able to try the new feature, but if it arrives as the world continues to practise social distancing, it might be the company’s most welcome update yet.