Apple files a lot of patents, many of which come to nothing, but one of the latest, uncovered by PatentYogi is intriguing. It details a method of automatically adding effects to photos based on audio cues, motion or your location.
Apple was granted United States Patent – 8,933,960 Image alteration techniques on January 13, 2015. It’s credited to two employees, Aram Lindahl, Senior Manager, Audio Design and Engineering, and Kelvin Chiu, Engineering Manger for iOS GPU Software.
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The document explains that with this method, unlike Instagram, users wouldn’t need to select an effect each time they wanted to apply one.
Examples in the patent, illustrated in the PatentYogi video above, show a water reflection and zoom-in/zoom-out effects being applied by background audio. Others have motion triggering a spiral brush effect or applying an image filter based on your location.
While the effects could be applied automatically, the patent explains that users would be able to define when they were triggered in the photo app’s settings.
Of course there’s absolutely no guarantee that Apple will implement this idea in the future but since it added live filters back in iOS 7, it doesn’t seem so way out.