back to article Apple fakes intimacy in our dead-eyed digital world with software fix

Old farts will complain that the days of actually looking someone in the eyes while communicating are over thanks to digital technology and mobile phones. But they could not be more wrong, because Apple has figured out how to fake intimacy in this era of dead-eyed digital interaction: by adjusting your eyeballs to look as …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    Uptight and in the groove baby

    I am fairly sure no computer or other mechanical contrivance has officially taken over any of my intimate personal moments, my wife would notice immediately.

    1. Kernel Silver badge

      Re: Uptight and in the groove baby

      "I am fairly sure no computer or other mechanical contrivance has officially taken over any of my intimate personal moments, my wife would notice immediately."

      I have no doubt that she would notice - the more important question is would she complain about it?

    2. BGatez Bronze badge

      Re: Uptight and in the groove baby

      uh huh. whose batteries last longer?

  2. JohnFen Silver badge

    No they haven't

    "That's right, computers have officially taken over even your most intimate, personal moments and are adjusting them to make you feel better, you hapless clumps of sinew and bone."

    I don't use FaceTime or other video chat programs outside of work, so computers haven't taken that over from me at all.

    1. BGatez Bronze badge

      Re: No they haven't

      That you know of.

  3. cbars

    Always made effort

    When away from home, to deliberately glance at the camera to give the same effect. Just manners. Now I won't be able to tell the thoughtful gesture from ignorance, and neither will my loved ones... thanks?

    1. Mine's a Large One

      Re: Always made effort

      So turn it off and carry on as before. (Me too by the way)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just what I don't want

    As someone who is on the autistic spectrum, I feel uncomfortable if someone is staring straight at me making eye contact. I guess I'll just have to turn off the video feed and go back to only using audio.

    1. Mine's a Large One

      Re: Just what I don't want

      It does say that it can be turned off, so hopefully it'll stay like that in the final release.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just what I don't want

        It can be turned off by the sender - as the recipient you have no choice about being nailed to the wall by an unwavering stare

    2. revenant Silver badge

      Re: Just what I don't want

      Perhaps more useful in your case would be a feature that enables you to tweak the received images so that the eyes look away.

    3. Prichy

      Re: Just what I don't want

      To be fair - the article says you can turn this feature off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just what I don't want

        At which end, the sender, receiver or both?

    4. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Just what I don't want

      I'm probably not on the ASD, I'm just a grumpy bastard, but I do my best to avoid video chats. Mind you, voice is almost as bad, what's wrong with good old fashioned email eh?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not bad

    Whenever I am in a video conference, I think about how they should solve this problem with two or more cameras surrounding the screen to enable a virtual camera viewpoint at the dead centre of the screen.

    I guess this is the cheap & clever solution...

    1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: Not bad

      We have Microsoft Teams at work and I am simply happy when the damn thing works (the video-conferencing, that is). Needless to say, this is very much hit and miss.

      No doubt Microsoft will tell me that I need Azure to make full use of it.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Needless to say, this is very much hit and miss.

        Needless to say it works fine for us and has done for at least a year. Sounds like it's possible to configure your infrastructure so Teams appears unreliable. I'm not convinced that's Microsoft's fault.

  6. Richard_Sideways


    I, for one, welcome this advance -

    as long as it comes with a +/- slider as to how intensly the effect is applied, with "Cage" at one end and "Feldman" at the other.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sliders?

      I really shouldn't have laughed at that (poor Marty), but I did. «genuine guilt»

      Just checking, though, is the "Cage" end of the setting Nicolas, or somebody else?

  7. stevo42

    Whatever next?

    Surely this just the first step. Soon can it make our eyes glow red if it detects we're angry, or make them larger if we're saying 'please' a lot. Then, can I have lasers fire out, or change to cat eyes, fake tears when I'm supposed to be moved by the other persons sob story.

    1. Marcus000

      Re: Whatever next?

      Didn't the Eagles write a song about this?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whatever next?

        I don't know about the eagles, but "Hall of Heads" from They Might Be Giants springs to mind...

        Here in the hall of heads

        You look through the keyhole

        This is the hall of heads

        One step through the doorway

        Roll out that special head

        This is our favorite one

        Please don't try to leave

        Don't leave the hall of heads

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Whatever next?

      Set them to tickover when the person isn't speaking, nice bit of colour cyling maybe or spinning pupils....?

    3. Andy Non

      Re: Whatever next?

      Need rolling eyes too.

    4. Anonymous Coward
    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatever next?

      Or have it keep making us glance down, like the other person's camera is showing something way-too-revealing and we're trying hard not to look...

  8. DropBear Silver badge

    So... we got DeepStare now too...?

  9. macjules Silver badge

    It's all a clever ploy

    That nice Mr Cook can look you in the eyes and tell you from his heart that:

    1) There is nothing wrong with the keyboard of your £2500 2019 MacBook Pro [engage stern look].

    2) The battery of your £2,500 2017 laptop is perfectly ok and that the recall is purely a precautionary measure [add extra sincerity].

    3) Your 13" MacBook Pro battery does not really expand in its bay .. that was just a bit of mischief by our PR department [slight chuckle, eyelid creasing].

    4) Everything that might have gone wrong with your laptop is down to Jonny Ive and that we have unfortunately had to let him go [anxiety coupled with sincere empathy]

  10. Disk0
    Thumb Up

    On the upside

    We can all go back to looking at whatever while on the phone, without feeling obligated to attempt to maintain eye contact with whoever is on the other side. Sure you can call me on FaceTime, just don't expect me to stop bingewatching reruns of The Avengers*.

    *) no, not the comic superheroes - the ones with miss Rigg doing high kicks. Now there's marvels!

  11. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    Some demo pictures available on the web

    There are some demo pictures available on the web now.

    When using FaceTime the person you are speaking to will look a bit like this.

  12. fpx
    Paris Hilton

    Whatever happens in Vegas

    I think it was on my first trip to Vegas around the turn of the century when I came across a slot machine that looked at me. It had a large screen with a beautiful young woman. The machine tracked me as I walked across the floor, and adjusted the image to show her looking directly at me. Now of course this was just a sequence of static images, and her view only adjusted horizontally, but still it got your attention, which is all the casino cares about.

    But no, I did not feed her.

  13. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    So scammers now have an extra feature to scam you with...

    Look into my eyes...

    You are feeling very sleepy...



    Now when I click my fingers you will deposit £1000 into my bank account.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

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