FaceTime is one of the most popular video-calling apps for macOS and iOS. With the FaceTime app, you can video chat with your friends or family from across the globe. And you don’t need to spend a single dollar to be able to talk to them face to face. All you need is a strong internet connection and a device with the FaceTime app installed on it.
Last 2018, Apple equipped FaceTime with the capability to handle 32 users in a group call. No other video app has the power to do this. Stickers and Memoji were also introduced to make conversations more fun and engaging.
This year, FaceTime is going to get another major update with the release of iOS 13 fourth beta. The new feature, called FaceTime Attention Correction, automatically adjusts your gaze during video calls so that it looks like you’re looking at the person you are talking to instead of the screen.
In regular video chat sessions, we usually look at the person we are talking to on the screen instead of looking at the camera, which is usually located in the upper portion of the device. This syncing problem between the camera and the screen makes video calls a bit awkward because it seems like the other party is not looking at you. Although users are used to this setup, the new FaceTime app feature makes conversions look a lot more sincere and natural.
FaceTime Attention Correction was first introduced earlier this month by app designer Mike Rundle, who tested the feature out with tech expert Will Sigmon. The revelation was made in a series of Twitter posts, with Will Sigmon describing the new feature as “wild.” He also shared some comparison photos to illustrate the difference between the old FaceTime and the new FaceTime with the auto-correction settings turned on.
How Does FaceTime Attention Correction Work?
The new feature was released with the fourth betas of iOS 13 and iPadOS a few days ago to the public beta testing group. The auto-correction makes it look like you are staring directly at your front camera during FaceTime calls. The feature also applies even when you are looking away from the person you are talking to.
According to some tests, the FaceTime Attention Correction seems to be working only on the iPhone XS and XS Max with the latest beta version installed. You need to dig into the FaceTime app’s settings to toggle the feature on or off. There is not yet a definitive list of devices that supports this new FaceTime feature, but experts believe that it will also be rolled out to older iPhones and other Apple-based devices.
When doing video calls, it seems like both participants are either looking off to one side or the other when talking because they are looking at the other party’s face on the screen. FaceTime Attention Correction uses an advanced image manipulation technique, called ARKit, to map the user’s face and to subtly adjust the positioning of the eyes. ARKit warps the eye and nose areas slightly to make the necessary image adjustments.
Why This Feature Matters
Apple has been incorporating more and more image-centered features to iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. It has equipped iPhone cameras with Smart HDR to analyze and composite multiple frames to get the best shot or to reduce the effect of shaky hands. The new FaceTime feature is one of the latest unique applications of Apple’s augmented reality tools and we can see the amazing effects. Video chats are now coming closer to looking like a real face-to-face conversation. But what does this mean? Is there any significance to being able to see each other eye-to-eye when talking? Definitely.
For one, video chatting while looking at the other party in the eye makes this form of communication a lot more intimate. If this feature works as intended, it can be a useful feature for those who want to appear invested in the conversation without having to stare at the tiny phone camera. It would be weird talking to your friend while looking at the front camera just so he or she knows you are listening.
FaceTime Attention Correction makes the video chat experience seem more natural because eye contact is one of the factors that show how sincere you are. Eye contact between a therapist and a patient undergoing counseling or therapy can contribute a lot to the success of the treatment. It is difficult to gauge the exact impact of this feature in a video chat communication since it has not yet been rolled out to the public. However, it definitely has the potential to improve video chatting experience because of the fake eye contact.
How to Get the FaceTime Attention Correction Feature
There are three requirements that you need to meet to be able to test this new FaceTime feature, which includes:
- A device that supports the new FaceTime feature (we only know of iPhone XS and XS Max for now)
- The latest iOS 13 beta installed on your device
- Being a member of the beta-testing group
To ensure the smooth functioning of the app, you need to clean up your device by connecting it to your Mac and running a Mac cleaning tool. A Mac cleaning software optimizes not only your computer’s system but the devices attached to it as well.
Once you’ve met the requirements above, tap the Settings app on your device, then tap on FaceTime. Scroll down the screen and look for FaceTime Attention Correction. It should be under the FaceTime Live Photos option. Toggle the switch beside FaceTime Attention Correction to turn on the feature. Next, go to your home screen, open the FaceTime app on your device and try out if the new feature works as it should.
iOS 13 comes with a bag full of tricks for iPhone users. For example, the new FaceTime tool that corrects eye contact during video calls is an interesting addition to FaceTime’s set of features. Aside from FaceTime Attention Correction, iOS 13 also introduces the dark mode, custom fonts, video editing tools, a swipey keyboard, stricter call blocking, Memoji avatars, and other hidden features. Apple is set to release iOS 13 this fall, probably in September.