In the future, it’s likely we’ll have a whole bunch of artificial intelligence-based features like “Eye Contact” for all video calls. It’s an interesting bit of tech that uses AI to modify the video feed the person sees on the other end of your video call. With this feature, you will always appear to be making eye contact with the person on the other end of the call, even if you’re not looking directly at the camera – because that’s awkward.
Below you’ll see the world’s shortest demonstration video of this technology in action, courtesy of the folks at Microsoft on the Surface team. There you’ll see in very clear terms the difference between making a video call with a person the traditional way, and making a video call with a person who’s using this Eye Contact feature.
“Eye Contact adjusts the users’ gaze across all these scenarios, helping people to make eye contact as if they were right in the same room,” said Stevie Bathiche, Microsoft Technical Fellow. “The feature can be simply toggled on or off inside the Surface App and once enabled will be automatically applied any time you use the camera, so it works across any video calling service (i.e. Microsoft Teams) or even when recording a video. ”
This technology will be released for a wider variety of devices and will be compatible with a wider variety of apps in the future. For now, it’s only with apps like Microsoft Teams and Skype, and it’s being released first on the Microsoft Surface Pro X.
If you have a Microsoft Surface Pro X, you can access this technology now. You’ll need to open the Surface app on your Pro X and likely make sure you’ve got the most updated version of Windows and/or the Surface app. Take a peek at the timeline below for more information on the Surface Pro X and its various goings-on and updates.
You might’ve heard of or seen features similar to “Eye Contact” with other devices in the recent past. Back in July of 2019, FaceTime in iOS 13 appeared to be rolling out some FaceTime Attention Correction. That feature read as follows: “Your eye contact with the camera will be more accurate during FaceTime Video calls.” Also see IRIS from back in April of 2010 to see how far we’ve come!