A facial recognition system that will allow you to share photos more easily might be a fixture on future iPhones, according to a patent that was published today on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office website.
Apple (AAPL) filed for the patent in February of last year. If the company goes through with this plan, your iPhone will be able to scan faces in photos that you take and identify which of your contacts are present. It can then prompt you with the option to send the picture to any of those contacts via whichever forms of communication are available to you for those specific people.
The phone may also have a “relational database” that will allow users to share pictures with contacts related to the person in the picture. For example, if you want to send a picture of a child to his parent, the phone can store that relationship information in its database and choose the correct contact based on that.