An Apple patent application describes a way of identifying people in digital images using face-recognition technology and then making it easy to send copies of the image to everyone in it.
The concept is highly reminiscent of Facebook’s Moments app, which identifies people and places in images and then allows users to easily share with friends, without having to post the pictures to Facebook.
Apple’s patent application, published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, gives a few options for how photos could be shared — including SMS, iMessages, emails and other types of communication not explicitly described. The method described would automatically pull contact information stored on the device to send the copies.
Photo sharing could also be done manually, via opt-in processes, etc., to make sure pictures didn’t get shared accidentally.
Given that Apple already includes face recognition in its Mac Photos app for identifying people, and has therefore figured out the hard part of the technology, it makes sense that the company would want to incorporate the tech into other applications, too.
A previous patent suggests that future iPhones could rely on users taking selfies as an alternative biometric security measure for unlocking devices.