How do you actually make selfies of groups in Corona times? Apple has just been granted a suitable patent, a patent for social distancing at Selfies with a synthetic group selfie device.
It is well known that Apple files many patents every year, by no means all of which are used, and this is a measure taken by all major telecommunications manufacturers to protect possible innovation.
A special Apple patent is now drawing attention, because it deals with the inclusion of groups of selfies in times of social distancing. The patent was applied for as early as 2018, i.e. long before Corona, and is called “Generation of Synthetic Groups Selfies” (US Patent 20190102924), but it was only granted in June 2020.
Physically separated, virtually joined
Physically separated, but virtually joined – this is how the Apple patent on social distancing can be described in brief. In practical terms, Apple presents this as individual selfie groups that can be assembled from a variety of individual files from different computer devices into a single group picture. Such a ‘synthetic’ selfie group can be created from still images, stored video images or live streaming images. In other words, a single group image is created – without the people being gathered around a single camera. Correspondingly, social distancing is also possible in the group picture without any problems.
Synthetic group selfie device
The synthetic group selfie device can be stored as a multi-resource object, says the patent description, which preserves the individual selfies. In this way, the user who created the group synthetic selfie device or a receiver of the group synthetic selfie device can change the arrangement of individual selfies within the group synthetic selfie device.
When a selfie is received on the user’s device by the group selfies application under Apple’s patent, the group selfies application can process the individual selfie to remove the background of the image using specific depth information. The computer device for this application described in the patent – the group selfies device – can automatically and intelligently assemble the individual selfies into synthetic group selfies. In this respect, Apple is completely true to itself: perfect technical implementation with maximum simplicity and intuitive operation.
Apple certainly could not have expected how well the patent would fit the social distancing of group selfies in Corana times, but it certainly meets the general virtual trend. Virtual reality is taking up more and more space, blurring reality with visual perception and offering more and more applications.
Apple’s patent on social distancing in selfies will not be the last remarkable patent application in this area.
Interested in patent application for Germany – in particular of software?
If your are in particular interested in patent application for Germany, have a look at summary ot jurisprudence in Germany on software. Software is not generally excluded from patent protection in Germany. The German patent law only excludes software “as such” – this is formulated both in German patent law and in the wording of the European Patent Convention (EPC). Especially for non European patent applicants, this is difficult to differ. Whether and, above all, when software is patentable, can be seen from a our look at German case law.
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