Apple has just been granted a patent on software to generate "synthetic group selfies." According to the protocol, this could be a way to create group selfies for social media, even if you try to distance yourself socially from your friends.
According to the patent application (first discovered by Patently Apple), an Apple device user (it is not clear whether the feature is available on iPads, iPhones, or both) could invite others to participate in a group selfie, and the software would Put them together in a single picture. The selfie can include still images, saved video images, or live streaming images. Users can keep both the original selfie and the group version, and the original user and recipients of the group picture can change the selfie, for example, by being in a different position in the group.
According to the patent application it would look like this:
Even if the idea of a socially distant selfie seems perfect for a moment when there is a global pandemic that is restricting social gatherings, it is certain that the concept was not specifically developed considering the current state. Apple first registered the patent in 2018, and it wasn't granted until June 2.
Of course, as always with patents, the usual caveats apply: there is no indication of when or how Apple could use the software, or whether synthetic group selfies will ever become one thing.