iOS 13 beta fixes FaceTime eye contact with image manipulation

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 4
The third developer beta of iOS 13 tackles a long-standing problem with video calls: realistic eye contact between participants.

FaceTime gets a new fix in the developer beta


If you've ever used FaceTime to call someone, you've probably noticed that there seems to be something a little unnatural about the way it looks. This is largely due to the fact that video calls tend to make it look like the participants aren't maintaining eye contact with each other.

After all, in a video call, a user is looking at the screen, not into their front-facing camera. Rather than looking "at" the other person "through" the display, it instead gives the effect of looking at their chin or mouth.

Apple has started beta testing a solution for this, with the new "FaceTime Auto Correction" feature in iOS 13. It seems to use image manipulation to make it appear as though both participants are maintaining realistic eye contact between each other, though it is not currently known just how Apple has managed to achieve this effect.


Image Credit: Will Sigmon


The feature was discovered and made widely known by Mike Rundle on Twitter.

Haven't tested this yet, but if Apple uses some dark magic to move my gaze to seem like I'm staring at the camera and not at the screen I will be flabbergasted. (New in beta 3!) pic.twitter.com/jzavLl1zts

-- Mike Rundle (@flyosity)


Currently, the feature is only being tested in the developer beta and only on the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max, and can be turned on or off within FaceTime's settings, and should show up soon in the iOS 13 public beta. Due to the devices it is currently enabled for, it is also unclear if it will be restricted to models with a TrueDepth camera array or for all iOS devices.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 781member
    Just saw this on Twitter. Wild!!

    oh and FINALLY!
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,721member
    “Excuse me, my eyes are up here!” :tongue: 

    This would be cool, but it’s also the edge of a brave new world. What Apple is doing is real time computer-controlled video editing. Fixing your eyes on FaceTime is a trivial change, but what about using the technology for more complex and less-than ethical uses? We’re reaching a point where ‘live’ video may not be real, and that gets scary in our current political environment. 

    (Note - I’m not saying Apple would do this, just making a comment about the technology in general.)
    charlesgresrweskuraiminicoffeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 593member
    Finally. 
    StrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 4 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,238member
    That's a significant improvement. Well done Apple. 
    flyingdp
  • Reply 5 of 13
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,331member
    Remember when an image and video was reasonable evidence? We've definitely left that behind, but at least Apple is using it for something helpful that isn't unethical.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    rwesrwes Posts: 173member
    MplsP said:
    “Excuse me, my eyes are up here!” :tongue: 

    This would be cool, but it’s also the edge of a brave new world. What Apple is doing is real time computer-controlled video editing. Fixing your eyes on FaceTime is a trivial change, but what about using the technology for more complex and less-than ethical uses? We’re reaching a point where ‘live’ video may not be real, and that gets scary in our current political environment. 

    (Note - I’m not saying Apple would do this, just making a comment about the technology in general.)
    Spot on thought. And funnily enough, from my Medium Daily Digest this morning!  Deepfakes Are Coming. We Can No Longer Believe What We See.
    edited July 3 gatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    cmauscmaus Posts: 31member
    Available on iPad Pro 2018 too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,764member
    Yeah this always irked me about just about every single tech company's marketing videos -- vid call participants were always making eye contact, which is impossible since the camera is off-screen. Had hoped they'd figure out a way to put the camera behind the screen, but if this weeks too so be it...
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    I remember reading years ago, possibly on AI, about a patent Apple had filed where there were camera elements squeezed between the pixels of a display. I wonder if this is easier to accomplish than getting all those tiny pieces to work properly. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 13
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,664unconfirmed, member
    I believe we read about this patent here on AI but we thought it was for Apple Watch FaceTime to eliminate nostril views.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 13
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,512member
    “Excuse me, my eyes are up here!” 

    ROFL! :D

    How about a tiny, bright yellow smiley sticker right under the camera. Or a slightly bigger one with a hole in the middle over the camera. I don't do face time, so never gave this much of a thought.

    I have a small orange sticker on the 'face' of my phone in the upper right corner 'behind' the rear facing camera to aid in framing. It's actually quicker than watching the screen.

  • Reply 12 of 13
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,200member
    Apparently this downward gaze is particularly off putting for the womenfolk (who can retaliate by looking at the Home button…& laughing).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 13
    I noticed it changed his smile too !! Seriousness Correction™
    edited July 10 watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.