Apple wants to disable devices from taking photos or videos at concerts

Bradley Wint
Jun 29, 2016 11:43pm AST
Photo: SplitShire/Pixabay

If you’re one to despise folks who take photos and videos at concerts, then Apple’s newly granted patent may spell some good news.

There are two sides of concert coin. Those who go to take as much video and photos as possible to say they’ve seen Coldplay or Beyonce live, and then there are those who hate people holding up phones and blocking the view of the performers.

Apple was recently granted a patent that allows for someone to transmit infrared signals with encoded data that can be read by the cameras on Apple devices. For instance, concert or sporting event managers can transmit a signal telling mobile devices to temporarily disable their photo and video capture options once inline with the infrared beam.

Here is the excerpt from the patent:

In some embodiments, a device can, based on received infrared data, disable a function of the device. For example, an infrared emitter can be located in areas where picture or video capture is prohibited, and the emitter can generate infrared signals with encoded data that includes commands to disable the recording functions of devices. An electronic device can then receive the infrared signals, decode the data and temporarily disable the device’s recording function based on the command.

Of course that is only one of the potential uses. Another use covered by the patent includes displaying information on your phone, for instance in an art gallery or museum.

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In some embodiments, a device can, based on received infrared data, display information to a user relating to an object near the user. For example, an infrared emitter can be located near an object and generate infrared signals with encoded data that includes information about that object. An electronic device can then receive the infrared signals, decode the data and display the information about the object to the user.

While it sounds like a useful patent with regards to concerts, it can also be used for more unethical purposes such as disallowing photo and video footage at riots or fights.

It’s hard to say now why Apple filed for this patent, as there are much newer technologies capable of carrying out similar commands.

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