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Apple Prepares Radical New Interactive iPhone Features

Apple is developing new camera software that would add radical interactive features to Portrait mode photos on iOS devices. 

The new features, detailed in a patent published on April 2, include simulated lighting effects that respond to touch input and the ability to place objects, such as text, in three dimensions within the picture. Together these new features are designed to make image editing quicker, more fun, and more power-efficient, saving valuable battery power on portable devices.

Apple's new technology allows interactive relighting of portraits mode photos
Apple’s new technology allows interactive relighting of portraits. USPTO

Apple’s proposed features work by making clever use of the depth information stored within Portrait mode images.

Such depth information is typically used for creating the familiar bokeh effects as well as enabling Apple’s Portrait Lighting options and is set to receive a big upgrade thanks to Apple’s new LiDAR scanner, found in the latest iPads.Today In: Consumer Tech

The techniques described in the patent take Portrait mode to the next level by allowing the user to place new objects and lights within the photograph as though they were part of a three-dimensional scene rather than a flat picture.