A newly granted Apple patent details a new type of camera system that aims to produce higher-quality selfies. The patent, first filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2015, describes using a wider field-of-view with the iPhone's front-facing camera when taking selfies in landscape mode. The wider FOV wouldn't be fixed, however, with the camera reverting to a narrower FOV when a selfie is taken in portrait mode.

These field-of-view effects are designed to improve selfies when taken both in groups of people and alone. In the case of groups, the patent explains that turning the phone sideways would expand the camera's field-of-view to cover a wider angle, ensuring everyone in the group is featured in the selfie. A self-only selfie taken in portrait mode, though, would feature a more traditional aspect ratio such as 4:3 and a narrower FOV.

The camera system in this patent would also be able to intelligently prod the user to take better selfies by selectively narrowing the FOV in portrait mode, requiring the user to extend their arm further away. The system could also adjust the previewed image in such a way that the user will need to change the camera's angle, the end result being an overall better selfie with a more natural look, reduced distortion, and other improvements.

Explaining that latter point, the patent says the camera system may 'crop/scale/zoom/shift the image window to coax the user to hold the camera device in a more optimal 'self-taking' position.' As with any patent, it is possible Apple will never implement this technology into a consumer product, but it's good to know so much technical thought is being put into... selfies.