Patently Apple is on a roll these days with Apple patent filings. Today, the publication uncovered a recent Apple filing that promises exciting new features on future iOS devices catering to citizen journalists worldwide. Put simply, Apple wants to take CNN’s iReport idea to the next level. For example, wouldn’t it be great if a future iPhone could automatically switch between the front and back camera for a seamless live report between interviewer and interviewee, in real-time and during a FaceTime video call? Apple has been thinking about that!

Their patent application entitled “Automatic Video Stream Selection” outlines how a future iOS software might detect a speech activity by observing the direction of sound or lip movement of the person captured through the lens of both cameras. The company explains:

The handheld communication device receives a first video stream and a second video stream simultaneously from the two cameras. The handheld communication device detects a speech activity of a person captured in the video streams. The speech activity may be detected from direction of sound or lip movement of the person. Based on the detection, the handheld communication device automatically switches between the first video stream and the second video stream to generate a multiplexed video stream. The multiplexed video stream interleaves segments of the first video stream and segments of the second video stream.

They call it the Report mode and it could even have its own dedicated hardware button near the volume buttons, Apple explains. In another embodiment Apple is proposing the new Interview mode…

This mode would have the handset tap both microphones in order to detect the direction of sound and thus switch the video streams to face the direction of the detected sound. Apple credits engineers Jae Han Lee and E-Cheng Chang with this invention, which was filed under the USPTO number 20110164105 (type it into the USPTO search engine) on January 6, 2010.

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