Apple invents an advanced camera system for FaceTime calls that recognizes in-air gestures, captures notebook drawings live & more
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to a future FaceTime conferencing communication interface for managing content that is shared during a video communication session. Considering that Apple has provided over 140 patent figures to describe future features for FaceTime conferencing, it's obviously a major patent application.
In Apple's patent background they note that some techniques for managing a live video communication session using electronic devices, however, are generally cumbersome and inefficient. For example, some existing techniques use a complex and time-consuming user interface, which may include multiple key presses or keystrokes. Existing techniques require more time than necessary, wasting user time and device energy.
Apple's invention is designed to provide electronic devices with faster, more efficient methods and interfaces for managing a live video communication session and/or managing digital content. Such methods and interfaces optionally complement or replace other methods for managing a live video communication session and/or managing digital content. Such methods and interfaces reduce the cognitive burden on a user and produce a more efficient human-machine interface. For battery-operated computing devices, such methods and interfaces conserve power and increase the time between battery charges.
Apple's patent focuses on the use of a next-gen camera system that will allow those who use FaceTime for business meetings, brainstorming sessions for work or at school use hand gestures to zoom a camera in on something a team member want to present and allow note taking on a pad and have it show up on a MacBook or iPad display.
In Apple's patent FIG. 6AA-6AB illustrate an example in which a device modifies a zoom level of a representation in response to detecting an in-air pinch and/or spread gesture. As shown in FIG. 6AA, in some embodiments, device 600-1 detects spread gesture 656e in which user 622 increases the distance between the thumb and index finger of the right hand of user 622. In some embodiments, the magnification is based on a location of spread gesture #656e (e.g., relative to camera #602) and/or a magnitude of spread gesture #656e. In some embodiments, the portion of the image is magnified according to a predetermined zoom level.''
in response to gestures #664, 666, 668, or 670 shown in Apple's patent FIG. 6AC above, representations 624-1, 622-2 of FIG. 6M are zoomed and remains centered on the drawing. Displaying respective representation at the first zoom level as being centered on a first position of the scene and the respective representation displayed at the second zoom level as being centered on the first position of the scene enhances the user interface by allowing a user to use a gesture that is performed in the field-of-view of a camera to change the zoom level without designating a center for the representation after the zoom is applied, which provides improved visual feedback and additional control options without cluttering the user interface.
In Apple's patent FIG. 11G below, we see a user drawing on a notepad and a MacBook camera system is able to capture what's being drawn and presents on screen in real-time. Great for FaceTime conference calling when trying to convey a new marketing idea, a prototype concept to work colleagues or a team of classmates working on a school project.
Apple presents a vast array of scenarios with supporting graphics about future FaceTime Conference Call features in patent application US 20230109787. If you happen to be one who uses FaceTime a lot for meetings and brainstorming sessions, then this patent is definitely worth checking out.