Apple patents technology that stops people filming at concerts

Infrared signals could disable smartphone cameras at shows

Christopher Hooton
Thursday 30 June 2016 10:49

Having to watch a show through the phone screen of the person in front might soon become a thing of the past, as Apple is working on technology that could disable photo and video functionality at events.

The company won approval from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office yesterday for a patent it applied for in 2009 relating to its cameras and their interaction with infrared signals.

As Pitchfork explains, ’in some cases, the device could use the infrared data to show a user information related to a nearby object, such as an exhibit in a museum. In other cases, the device could use the infrared data to disable the device’s recording functions. As an example, the patent includes an illustration of a band performing onstage as a camera screen shows the text “RECORDING DISABLED.”

The illustration in the Apple patent

While the technology might be aimed at preventing copyright infringement, it could come with the added bonus of improving the concert-going experience.

It’s a logical next step for music publishers, which recently got the ability to have YouTube and Facebook videos automatically scanned for copyright material and deleted.

Apple files hundreds of patents a year however, many of which don’t ever actually get put into use. We’ve reached out to Apple for a comment.

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