Apple Just Fixed One of My Biggest Annoyances With FaceTime

Posted on July 3, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, Mobile, iOS with 20 Comments

Apple is working on an incredible new feature that will help fix one of my biggest announces with FaceTime. When making video calls on FaceTime (and some other video calling apps), looking at the screen of your phone makes it seem like you are looking away from the person on the other end. And if you try looking at the camera of the call, you can’t really focus on the person on the other end of the call. All of this leads to you constantly adjusting your gaze to make sure you are not looking weird on the other end.

Apple is finally working on a solution for the issue, as spotted by Mike Rundle on Twitter (via Reddit).

On the latest iOS 13 beta, there’s a new feature called FaceTime Attention Correction that seems to use advanced image manipulation tech to adjust your gaze automatically during video calls. Without the feature enabled, looking at your screen of the video call makes it seem like you are not looking directly at the camera (left), but with the new feature enabled, FaceTime makes it seem like you are looking at the camera even when you are looking at the screen (right). It’s amazing:

(via @WSig on Twitter)

The new feature is unfortunately only available to the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, so even if you have the iPhone X, you won’t be able to use the new feature at all. It’s not clear how Apple has implemented this feature, but it’s absolutely incredible.

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Comments (20)

20 responses to “Apple Just Fixed One of My Biggest Annoyances With FaceTime”

  1. Tony Barrett

    Sorry, we're now at the point where we're being fed stuff constantly that isn't real anymore. Real-time filters are totally changing the way we see things, and it's wrong. Just plain wrong. Most photo's are now edited automatically with no user intervention, and it's screwing with peoples minds. Why can't they just stop this - it's affecting people, and the young especially who can't see beyond it.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Or we could teach that this exists and what the appropriate uses are. That way the next generation isn’t as dumb as most of the current crop of humans.

      Oh wait , that might force people to take some responsibility in their lives and that would “offend” them. Can’t have that.

  2. Slvrgun

    Mehedi you been eating good I see!

  3. chrisrut

    Hmmm. I could use a version of that for my whole life to foster the illusion that I'm actually paying attention.

  4. waethorn

    This is why behind-screen cameras are starting to trickle out.

    My question is: where is this video manipulation being done? Is this done on Apple's servers, as would be expected by anything that they claim is "AI"-processed? What is the privacy policy behind this?

    In a related story: Amazon just admitted that they keep Alexa recordings "basically forever":

  5. robinwilson16

    So does that mean that when you do look at the camera it looks like you are looking upwards?

    The effect seems to make him look happier too and no longer focused on the exit!

  6. techguy33

    Weird and creepy. The image you're seeing is not a true representation of reality and you should be notified of that fact by some sort of message under the image.

  7. earlster

    It is something that I'm conscious of all the time during video conference calls, to the point where I often resize the picture to be smaller and closer to the camera on top of my monitor so that I don't look too far away. If MS would add something similar to Teams, that would be pretty cool. But it's not my biggest annoyance.

  8. aelaan

    "One of my biggest annoyances" ? Let me think.... Oh wait... Nope not annoyed at all. Filed under: 1st world problems.

  9. Rob_Wade

    Yes...this bothers me as well. With all the Deep Fake problems happening now, this is the last thing I'd want. It has never, ever bothered me that the other person I'm video chatting with on Skype is clearly looking at the screen instead of camera. Now, I do make a point of looking back and forth between the screen and my camera, just to add variety for the other person, but at no point have I ever felt like there was a need for this kind of digital manipulation.

    • truerock2

      In reply to Rob_Wade:
      Well... you are wearing sun glasses - so I guess you don't really need it.
      By the way - are you looking at the camera lens in your picture?

    • michael_babiuk

      In reply to Rob_Wade: You REALLY didn't think this "Deep Fake" thing thru, did you? Using your example, you seem to be concerned with a "deep fake" from your video chat correspondent. But not only would your "deep fake" video image need to be synched with a corresponding "deep fake" voice simulation from your video chat correspondent, this "tin foil" deep fake AI nightmare you conjured up would have to carry on a conversation with you and you would not be able to know or tell if the video person you were having this conversation with was simply an AI program.
      James Bond or Mission Impossible movies are nice - where one can speak into a telephone and have your voice altered in real time to another person's voice print but - as far as I know - that type of technology really doesn't exist yet.
      Or should I start wearing a tin foil hat soon? Grin.

  10. RonH

    Waste of programming resources

  11. harmjr

    Ok this is the best new feature to mobile devices since ... the iPhone.

    Oh wait I dont own a iPhone so I hope samsung will quickly copy this....

  12. Daekar

    So... it never occurred to me that this could be a problem. Really. In fact, on the occasions I watch FRD instead of listen, I enjoy the fact that you can tell where Paul and Brad are looking. You know that if they look directly into the camera they are doing it on purpose, for emphasis.

    *sigh* Nothing is real anymore.

  13. Lauren Glenn

    Another solution would be to put the picture of the other person on the right-side of the screen or to not make the screen with a 2.1:1 aspect ratio... if you made it a 16:9 ratio, you could just put the video on the right side of the screen.

  14. truerock2

    Wow... Apple solving a problem I didn't even know I had! This is a really cool thing that I never thought about.

    I've had vague thoughts about this - I just never thought of actually solving this and coming out with a solution.

    I am very impressed.