A future version of the Memoji feature on iPhone and iPad might be able to automatically generate a virtual three-dimensional avatar from users’ photographs.

We know that from a patent that the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted to Apple on Tuesday.

Titled “Technique for creating avatar from image data”, the patent proposes producing a digital representation of your likeness based on analyzing facial features on your own photos.

AppleInsider has more:

In short, the patent uses an image of the user to determine the facial features of the subject, then selects digital representations and compiles them into an avatar.

The processing method measures the spatial facial attributes of the subject, classifying the expression of the person at the same time and determining which from a selection of avatar templates is the closest match. The template avatars are deformed based on the expression classification to aid matching. […]

The classification can include the identifying of spatial locations of hair on the subject, then to determine multiple different templates of hair styles which can be attached to the template, as well as for identifying eyeglasses, facial hair and other elements.

Eye, hair and skin color can also be used as part of the final deformation process.

Producing a Memoji representation of oneself currently involves using the Messages app and manually choosing between facial features of the selected Memoji from preset designs.

TUTORIAL: How to create an iMessage profile in iOS 13

No matter how you look at it, it would certainly be awesome if a future version of the Memoji feature allowed realistic avatar creation from your photos.

Even more Memoji customization in iOS 13

Some of the manual Memoji customizations available in iOS 13.

On the other hand, just because Apple was granted a patent on a specific idea or a piece of technology doesn’t mean the company will ever use it in a shipping product – like many other companies, Apple preemptively patents various technologies so that rivals can’t use them.

What do you make of this particular patent, boys and girls? And how else should Apple enhance Memoji and Animoji for its users, do you think?

Chime in with your thoughts in the comments below.