Auto-zoom feature would be based on facial proximity.
According to new patents filed by Apple with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, the company is looking to replace the iPhone's pinch-to-zoom feature.
The feature that would replace pinch-to-zoom would utilize a sensor to determine the proximity of a user's face. It'll then automatically zoom and focus on what is being displayed on the screen.
The patent says the new invention would offer two modes, comfort and zoom, that provides users with a viewing experience without the requirement of touching their iPhone screen.
Apple's technology would make use of either a camera, infrared proximity sensor or SONAR sensor in order to detect how close the user's face is to the display. Calibration would require the user to hold the iPhone at various distances while it obtained data to determine the suitable display scale size.
The patent explains that the technology could use facial recognition software to establish a more accurate distance. Once the test data has been stored, the iPhone would be able to accurately provide comfort and readability to the user based on the mode they selected.
Comfort mode is designed to "maintain the visual content at a comfortable size for the user regardless of how far the display is from the user's face." The content displayed on the screen would shrink as the user's face comes closer to the device, with the screen being enlarged as the screen moves further away from the user's face.
Zoom, meanwhile, operates in the opposite fashion by providing "a convenient way to zoom in and out of visual content." When utilizing the zoom mode, when the screen is moved closer the content visibility increases. Said content would decrease in size as it is moved further away from user's face.