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Apple to bring AR features to FaceTime in iPhone 8: Report

Apple is reportedly working on an all new FaceTime technology, only for iPhone 8 users.


When Apple debuted the iOS 11 during WWDC earlier this year, the company showed a lot of new and interesting features. Most of the new features are expected to debut alongside the iPhone 8. However, the one significant change that might set Apple iPhone 8 apart from rivals could be the new FaceTime technology. While Apple did drop hints about the new technology debuting with Apple iPhone 8, nothing has been confirmed yet. But if rumors are true, then the Apple iPhone 8 might support FaceTime with Augmented Reality.

FaceTime has been Apple’s very own version of video telephony and the app so far has not seen any drastic changes. Apple is now starting to focus on AR and announced an ARKit at WWDC 2017. And if the latest patent by Apple, discovered by VCDaily is anything to go by, then FaceTime videos might support AR. Apple has reported a new technology for creating augmented reality inside live video chats. Apple has already developed a new way of using light field cameras, which is in use in Apple iPhone 7 Plus. For iPhone 8, Apple will expand the technology further.

The present iPhone uses a dual camera set-up, which helps to create the depth of field, Bokeh effect. Using more camera setups, additional layers can be created to give an AR like feel to live videos too. The other cameras focus on elements other than the main subject in order to expand the visuals and give the video a better effect. In a FaceTime video, Apple would give the same Bokeh effect to the caller, making the person stand out and blur the background. ALSO READ: How many apps do you really use?

Apple is not the only one to experiment with the technology, as a lot of video makers have already introduced similar tech. Though not widely known, AR FaceTime could definitely improve the experience of a live video call. However, as the VCDaily report suggests, Apple could take things one step further and instead, use live filters behind the main person, to enhance the experience even more. A close-up would be shown of the person’s face coupled with a large shot of the place the individual is in. It will give the caller a more immersive experience and also make the person feel as if he is present in the call.

While the technology does sound extremely interesting, it is equally difficult to implement. While Apple might have patented the same, it might not debut as early as the iPhone 8. While it might be easier to experiment with the technology on larger devices, like computers initially and then bring them to smartphones, Apple might skip the previous part.

It will definitely give FaceTime a huge edge over rivals like Skype as the feature has hardly grown over time and is still one of the most basic Apple apps. But then, considering it is currently only a patent, it might not see the light of the day at all, as scores of Apple patents. Only September shall tell if FaceTime is getting the upgrade or not.

  • Published Date: July 18, 2017 1:43 PM IST

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