Video call and conferencing technology has been around for quite some time now. As the internet progressed, the calls got much better. Apple offers FaceTime, a service to connect with fellow Mac and iPhone users. But a recent patent discovered by PatentlyApple reveals a massive overhaul in the current FaceTime technology.
The patent will focus on implementing Apple Gaze, a camera-dependent tech that will auto-focus on whichever users you are addressing in a group conference. It will help the other party also understand when they are being addressed without being clueless.
Apple Gaze: A Future Possibility
Apple Gaze will need cameras: a lot of them. The patent shows that Apple might embed eight cameras in a Mac. All these will be positioned on the bezels. When the presenter wants to focus on a single person, it will automatically focus on the participant and turn their image to the presenter.
It will appear as if the person who is being talked to turned their head towards the presenter to listen to him/her. As we mentioned above, this tech will need a lot of cameras. It is only possible to put so many cameras on either Macs or Virtual Reality headsets.
We highly doubt if it will be possible to embed eight-front cameras into the iPhone to support Apple Gaze. So, Apple may reserve this technology for conference video calls in which participants either have a Mac or VR headset. Apple is silently working on a VR headset, and it may form the backbone of the proposed Apple Gaze technology.
The main takeaway is that AI will compute images and then show a tilted head image to simulate as if they are listening to the speaker. It can be highly motivating for the speaker when they see a participant directly facing them and leaning into the conversation.
But it will have many challenges, with the primary one being showing a tilted image every time the presenter focuses on a participant. It may require facial mapping before the conversation, which is just what we think.
Apple Gaze is a far-away concept but the recent iPhone 14 Pro Max sports a Dynamic Island. The feature might have taught other smartphone companies to cleverly use the notch.