iPhone users who have been testing the latest beta of iOS 13 have discovered a strange new feature. It’s called “FaceTime Attention Correction” and it uses automatic image manipulation to “fix” your gaze while video chatting.
The feature does exactly what it sounds like. Even though you’re looking at the screen, not the front-facing camera, the person on the other end of the video chat sees you making direct eye-contact. It’s a little bizarre, as Will Sigmun, co-host of The Dish Podcast, demonstrated on Twitter:
Guys – “FaceTime Attention Correction” in iOS 13 beta 3 is wild.
— Will Sigmon (@WSig) July 2, 2019
According to Will and The Verge Executive Editor Dieter Bohn, you can turn this feature on in settings, but while it is showing up on the latest beta of iPadOS as well, so far it only seems to work (and sporadically at that) on iPhone XS, not iPhone X or iPad.
— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) July 2, 2019
All of which, of course, begs the question: will this kind of automatic “gaze correction” ever be applied to photos? Will we have the option? And how much correction will it apply once the feature is live and out of beta?
We can only imagine the ways this feature could go wrong, potentially “hijacking” your eyes when you’re trying to look away, and leading to some pretty interesting effects.