Virtual 3D Memoji Conference Calls Could Be Coming to Apple Devices

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With the arrival of COVID-19, people everywhere have had to learn how to speak and organize across long distances through online technologies. An essential tool has been the video conference call, whether it’s done through Zoom, Webex, Google Hangouts, or even FaceTime. Most of these services require users to either show their faces or at least a photo. However, Apple might offer additional options that experiment with augmented reality.

A new patent has surfaced, titled “Communication system and method for providing a bionic virtual meeting room,” or Patent number 20200143578. What the patent indicates would be a way for users to stage their own meetings in an AR-based, 3D setting. According to the patent:

The invention relates to a method for operating a communication system for providing a virtual meeting of at least one first user and at least one second user. The invention relates to… displaying a virtual meeting space on a display device [and] detecting a biometric characteristic of a first user.

“[The device involves] determining a level of abstraction associated with the first user from among a plurality of different settable levels of abstraction and displaying, in the virtual meeting space, an avatar representing the first user having the biometric characteristic of the first user.”

“This way, objects, especially virtual objects, like an avatar representing the first user, can be presented to the second user over any distance, which can advantageously be used to provide virtual meetings between different users, especially any arbitrary number of users, in a common virtual meeting room,”


While this might read like a bunch of technical speak, what the patent is referring to is the use of a virtual avatar to represent each member of the augmented or virtual reality conference call.

The biometric characteristics are likely in reference to certain physical motions, including eye blinks, head shifts, and physical speech.

These avatars could be something like a 3D person, or perhaps a Memoji.

Previous patents have referred to Apple investing in technology that would automatically create a Memoji based on a photograph, so converting said tech into such a new FaceTime feature wouldn’t be difficult and would make a lot of sense.

This patent seems to further reinforce speculation of an Apple Glass-based augmented reality device in Apple’s future and would work quite well with such a development.

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