Well, Apple has figured out a way to make socially-distant selfies

It wasn’t too long ago that Apple tried (and still tries) to make the term Slofie cool, and now the company’s latest patent combines its favourite pet obsession along with just one of the gauntlets 2020 has thrown down.

In a new patent first spotted by Patently Apple, Apple has designed a means for users to virtually group themselves into a synthetic selfie photo (a Synthie?) by using faces captured through images, video, or live-streaming broadcasts. The end result would be a selfie that knits together three separate people regardless of how far apart they are in the physical world.

The feature would feasibly work on both iPhones and iPad, and would enable users to send out selfie invites to their contacts through a similar invitation process as one would use to invite a contact to a group call. Users would be able to retain both their original image and the group photo, and all participants would be able to re-arrange themselves in the photo after ‘taking’ it.

However, it would seem that the organiser of the photo who sends out invitations would always be first and foremost in the image – though that could be subject to change.

Perhaps the most curious aspect of the feature would be the manner in which images are processed. As Patently Apple elaborates, “the processing of individual selfies to remove background portions of individual selfie images can be distributed amongst multiple devices to reduce the amount of processing required to be performed by an individual device.”

Interestingly, the entire patent seems to be a case of great timing rather than timeous design. Apple first filed the patent in 2018, and the according rights to the idea have only just been granted. For Apple, this might amount to something of a quick win considering our present circumstances.

What are your thoughts? Would you take synthetic selfies with friends? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below.