Kyle Rittenhouse judge fooled by claim iPad pinch-to-zoom manipulates footage with AI

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What you need to know

  • iPad evidence became a hot topic during the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse on Wednesday.
  • The defense attorney argued that Apple's pinch-to-zoom feature on iPad uses "logarithms" or AI to manipulate video.
  • Somehow, the judge bought it and agreed it would be "high risk" to show evidence on an iPad without expert testimony proving this wasn't the case.

Apple's iPad and pinch-to-zoom technology became the center of a bizarre debate in the double homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse on Wednesday after a defense attorney argued Apple's pinch-to-zoom feature used AI or "logarithms" to manipulate video.

The sequence played out on the trial's livestream, as shared by The Washington Post. Five hours and two minutes into the live stream defense attorney Mark Richards addressed the court regarding video evidence that was about to be shown to the court on an iPad stating:

"iPads, which are made by Apple, have artificial intelligence in them that allow things to be viewed through three-dimensions and logarithms. It uses artificial intelligence, or their logarithms, to create what they believe is happening. So this isn't actually enhanced video, this is Apple's iPad programming creating what it thinks is there, not what necessarily is there

Richards prefaced his comment by stating he didn't understand logarithms "at all", although he presumably meant "algorithms". The matter was debated for some ten minutes, with the District Attorney Thomas Binger stating pinch-to-zoom was commonplace in everyday life and that the jurors would understand, he also noted it wouldn't alter the video at all. At one point the judge asked if the footage would be in its "virginal state" and stated "I don't believe that" when told it was like viewing something through a magnifying glass. Apple's own support document titled 'Zoom in on the iPad screen' (opens in new tab) defines the feature stating "on iPad, magnify the screen with full-screen zoom or window zoom" to be used on all of Apple's best iPads.

In an exchange noted by The Independent defense attorney Richards asked the DA what operating system the iPad used, with Binger replying that he didn't know off the top of his head:

Mr. Richards, appearing satisfied with the judge's objections, asked Mr. Binger what operating system the iPad used. Mr. Binger said he did not know off the top of his head."Thank you!" Mr. Richards responded, as if proving a point."It's an iPad, Mark," Mr Binger replied.

The court instead viewed the footage through a Windows device connected to a TV in the courtroom.

Pinch-to-zoom was one of the defining features of the original iPhone and its multi-touch display as demonstrated by Steve Jobs during the original keynote. Kyle Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to five felonies that include first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

2 Comments
  • This judge is in the bag for Kyle Rittenhouse. I don't believe for a second he believed that insane theory combined with the way he handled it by not giving the prosecution time to refute that nutty claim.
  • Word of the day: "interpolation". When zooming the iPad inserts extra pixels into the video because If this didn't happen when you zoom a video you would simply see larger square pixels. If interpolation didn't exist it would be like staring at your iPad with a magnifying glass... you would see all the tiny pixels on the screen. A quick search would have debunked this article. Lazy biased journalism. #note it goes both ways, of yoy watch a bigger video on a smaller screen interpolation removes pixels, if you watch it on a larger screen it can also add them. On a side note to destroy other stupid hypocratic leftist arguements... 1. If Kyle wasn't there this wouldn't have happened, same goes for everyone else! 2. But he crossed state lines! He lives 15min away in a border town! His dad and friends lived in Kenosha! 3. The judge is on the take. The judge has to follow the rules of law, if he doesn't it's grounds for a mistrial. The judge was right to not permit the usage of the word "victims" for example. They are ONLY victims if Kyle is PROVEN guilty. It's like calling Kyle a murderer/criminal at trial before the judgement! 4. The judge was correct in stopping the prosecution from questioning why Kyle didn't speak after the incident. This is a fundamental right that exists in every state. It's the 5th amendment and it's ILLEGAL for a court to talk about why someone would excise that right. In most situations "you can only speak your way into more trouble" Best to keep quiet and get a lawyer! 5. The judge was biased toward the prosecution when they presented evidence that Kyle said he wished he had his gun while observing shoplifting. The reason I say this is the defense had far more damming evidence that all of the "victims" had criminal records from robbery to sexual assault on minors. The emission of these facts to show the characters involved would have produced an unfair bias. 6. The attack is racially motivated and Kyle is a white supremacist. If he was why did he only kill white people? He did a poor job being a white supremacist by only killing white people! ...What a dumb 1 dimensional argument to make. Let's expose who maybe on the take... prosecution/police: their is a mountain of video evidence that proves many other crimes that night from protestors and perhaps even counter-protestors, but nobody else seems to be charged! Seems a bit strange to me.