Home US Apple is slammed for ‘nuisance’ new animations triggered by hand gestures that have seen confetti, balloons and thumbs-down emojis appear on-screen during serious virtual meetings

Apple is slammed for ‘nuisance’ new animations triggered by hand gestures that have seen confetti, balloons and thumbs-down emojis appear on-screen during serious virtual meetings

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Tech giant Apple is widely criticized by users - especially corporate employees - for its default gesture-based camera response mode

Tech giant Apple is widely criticized by users – especially corporate employees – for its default gesture-based response mode on the camera.

The reaction mode is activated when a hand gesture is made in the camera’s view, and then a 3D effect fills the video frame for a few seconds.

Possible reactions include balloons flying by, bursting confetti, a thumbs up and down, fireworks, floating hearts and lasers.

Although these reactions are meant to elicit a laugh and help people express their feelings, many have become embarrassed and increasingly frustrated when the reactions appear on the screen unprompted during serious video calls.

Tech giant Apple is widely criticized by users - especially corporate employees - for its default gesture-based camera response mode

Tech giant Apple is widely criticized by users – especially corporate employees – for its default gesture-based camera response mode

Possible reactions include balloons flying by, bursting confetti, a thumbs up and down, fireworks, floating hearts and lasers

Possible reactions include balloons flying by, bursting confetti, a thumbs up and down, fireworks, floating hearts and lasers

Possible reactions include balloons flying by, bursting confetti, a thumbs up and down, fireworks, floating hearts and lasers

Although these reactions are meant to elicit a laugh and help people express their feelings, many have become embarrassed and increasingly frustrated when the reactions appear on the screen unprompted during serious video calls

Although these reactions are meant to elicit a laugh and help people express their feelings, many have become embarrassed and increasingly frustrated when the reactions appear on the screen unprompted during serious video calls

Although these reactions are meant to elicit a laugh and help people express their feelings, many have become embarrassed and increasingly frustrated when the reactions appear on the screen unprompted during serious video calls

Alyssa Nolte, a 33-year-old consultant in Iowa, was on an office call when a client sharing news of upcoming layoffs raised their hands and suddenly their screen was filled with balloons.

“We’re all like, ‘What just happened?’ Oh my god,” she shared The Wall Street Journal.

Dennis Perpetua, a 46-year-old digital workplace experience executive in New York, also shared his experience on LinkedIn, noting that thankfully his bosses were laughing too.

Perpetua was on a business call with her boss in Zurich when suddenly a thumbs-down emoji popped up next to his head.

He said: ‘We’re having a pretty serious conversation about strategy… and it came up. To be quite honest, I laughed a little, which was probably not a good move.

But luckily for him, his boss came along and started laughing too.

Dennis Perpetua, a 46-year-old digital workplace experience worker in New York, was on a business call with his boss in Zurich when suddenly a thumbs-down emoji popped up next to his head

Dennis Perpetua, a 46-year-old digital workplace experience worker in New York, was on a business call with his boss in Zurich when suddenly a thumbs-down emoji popped up next to his head

Dennis Perpetua, a 46-year-old digital workplace experience worker in New York, was on a business call with his boss in Zurich when suddenly a thumbs-down emoji popped up next to his head

1710621917 676 Apple is slammed for nuisance new animations triggered by hand

1710621917 676 Apple is slammed for nuisance new animations triggered by hand

He later wrote on LinkedIn: ‘FaceTime camera reactions on Macs with M1 chips can make for uncomfortable conversations with your boss! No matter how intently my eyes suggested I was listening, I underestimated my body language during the conversation.

‘Now the only question is how did I manage to get Microsoft Copilot to capture this happy accident?’

Zach Holmquist, co-founder of AI startup Seer, explained that the reactions have caused a lot of chaos on calls with potential investors.

‘We’d have a really serious conversation about finances and pitches and all this stuff, and you’re releasing confetti and balloons.

‘I feel like balloons are the one I pop all the time. It’s just going to be really awkward,’ Holmquist told the WSJ.

But the company’s employees are not the only ones who are embarrassed during calls.

Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman ended up releasing confetti when he made the air-quote symbol on screen while on a Zoom interview on MSNBC last month

Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman ended up releasing confetti when he made the air-quote symbol on screen while on a Zoom interview on MSNBC last month

Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman ended up releasing confetti when he made the air-quote symbol on screen while on a Zoom interview on MSNBC last month

1710621917 214 Apple is slammed for nuisance new animations triggered by hand

1710621917 214 Apple is slammed for nuisance new animations triggered by hand

He did not comment on the incident during the video and continued with the conversation

Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman ended up releasing confetti when he made the air-quote symbol on screen while on a Zoom interview on MSNBC last month.

He did not comment on the incident during the video and continued with the conversation.

Jacquelyn Tenaglia, a 38-year-old mental health counselor in Boston, also had a similar experience.

During a virtual appointment, Tenaglia rested her chin on the back of her hand when suddenly a thumbs-down bubble popped over her head.

She quickly apologized, saying: ‘It was embarrassing to have that conversation. I consider myself to have a good sense of humour, but I can safely say that it has only been a nuisance’.

But it’s incredibly easy to turn this setting off.

According to Apple, while on a video call on a Mac system or iPhone, users must select the Reactions option in the video menu and opt out.

For the gesture-based response setting to work, a user must have macOS Sonoma or later on a Mac with Apple silicon, or macOS Sonoma or later on a Mac with Continuity Camera with iPhone 12 or later.

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