Taking videos at concerts is already annoying, but if a certain Apple patent ever makes its way into a product, it also could be impossible.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted Applea patent originally filed in 2011 for a technology that would disable phones’ cameras at certain public events by tracking and interpreting infrared signals.
The patent reads: “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 devices recording function based on the command.”
There’s no telling whether Apple has any plans to actually use this technology. It’s entirely possible that the tech giant has no plans to develop the camera blocker at all, but rather obtained the patent as a way to prevent anyone else from developing it. (An Apple representative would not comment on whether the company had plans to deploy the technology.)
It’s also an open question that, if Apple were to implement such a technology, what the guidelines and restrictions would be in using it. Could, say, private security or even law enforcement take advantage of it to shut down recording in a specific area? The tech would have obvious legal implications if so.
Given its history with protecting iPhone users’ freedom and privacy, it would be very un-Apple like of the company to implement such a tech. That is, unless Apple execs are as annoyed with mid-concert Snapchats asAlicia Keys is.
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