Apple's New Tech Fixes the Worst Side Effect of a Videocall and It Could Ripple to Photography

Apple's New Tech Fixes the Worst Side Effect of a Videocall and It Could Ripple to Photography

When trying to have a video-call sometimes we run into an issue that isn't technical, but rather to do with intimacy. Until we can get totally perfect behind-screen cameras, this issue will persist. Or, rather, it would have if Apple hadn't stepped up to the plate.

When talking on video chat it's common to run into the issue where we look at the screen, not the camera, resulting in conversations without anything remotely close to eye contact. In iOS 13 Apple will be introducing a brand new feature within Facetime using the proprietary ARKit to warp and stretch the image in order to make it look like you are actually looking at the person you are conversing with, right down the camera, instead of looking at the screen.

While this is still in beta, the knowledge that we are getting real time correction of an image like this, being able to warp and change video is pretty groundbreaking and opens to door to using the technology in photography. Imagine popping a photo into Photoshop and just clicking a button to force eye-contact with very little fuss to bring those photos that are "almost" there into line could be a big time saver for weddings and group shots.

What do you think of this tech? Being able to warp and shift an image in real time to increase our connection to each-other rather than separate us is definitely a step in the right direction! Although there is also some scary uses knowing that the technology to, in real time, warp and shift a video I'm just going to ignore that and focus on the positive! 

David J. Fulde's picture

David J. Fulde photographs people. Based in Toronto, ON, he uses bold lighting and vibrant colours to tell people's stories. His work in the film industry lends a cinematic energy to his photographs and makes for an always-colourful studio -- whether he's shooting portraits, fashion, or beauty.

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I think it's weird.

Yeah, from a technical perspective I imagine it is quite a feat, but somehow it seems like a creepy thing we now need to do in order to re-establish eye-contact in communication.

Video calls by its nature actually disconnects the eye contact since you have to look into the camera for the other person to have eye to eye contact on his/her screen. But by doing so, you lose eye contact with the other person as you no longer are viewing your screen and in effect no longer seeing eye to eye.

It’s a software fix and just like Jonathan commented, shows that the tech isn’t there just yet for Apple to implement a camera below the screen. (I know there is a manufacturer who did this already but producing it for the masses is different).

Maybe it's just a cultural thing, but I'm not into constant eye contact during a conversation. I find it really unnatural to just keep staring at someone. We've had a decade to get used to what video calls look like so I think it would be weird to be on Skype and suddenly have a person look like they're staring directly at you. Maybe it's just me and maybe it's one of those things I'll just get accustomed to.

I know how video calls work.

The fact that Apple came up with this software manipulation illustrates how difficult it is to put a camera under the screen (the more obvious solution).

Wait, let me check my agenda...

Well, why don't you check your agenda?

I am checking my agenda, hold on...

No, you're not! I can see you still staring at me!


Close your eyes, I have a surprise for you...


Do it already...

I am!

No, you're not!

Am too!


Next step: Apple will always make you smile.....
Because everyone is beautiful and everyone is nice