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Physically Distant Group Selfies: Just What We Need


Physically Distant Group Selfies: Just What We Need

Given the current era of physical distancing, how am I ever going to manage a group selfie with my friends?

Apple Inc.’s patent for Generating Synthetic Group Selfies may be just the ticket. Apple originally applied for this patent way back in July of 2018, but the process seems to have attracted new attention in an age where we can’t really stand shoulder to shoulder, smiling for the birdie.

Basically, this process will allow software to capture or obtain a number of single selfies from different sources or devices and then arrange the disparate selfies into a single group shot. The process will allow users to rearrange the composition of the final group image to suit their tastes if perhaps they don’t like being in the back row.

Apple’s Generating Synthetic Group Selfies flowchart.

Looking through the patent, it seems Apple even intends to use their technology to create synthetic group videos as well — with sound!

Overall, this all seems like a pretty basic form of post-processing that has been somewhat automated. I’m curious if there are any patent lawyers who might want to weigh in on the patent process for ubiquitous coding tasks. Is this patent defensible? It doesn’t seem to be transformative to me, but then again, I’m neither a coder nor a U.S. patent lawyer.

It’s been reported that Apple was granted its patent on June 2, 2020. Perfect timing. Popular stats show that there are hundreds of millions of selfies taken a day. Staggering. I’m assuming that stay-at-home orders have only increased this number.

fstoppers apple selfie patent interface

Apple’s Generating Synthetic Group Selfies interface.

Call me jaded, but I feel we need more software around selfies like we need another, well, um, selfie.

​​​All images from patent US 10,672,167 B2


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