No more concert photos? Patent suggests Apple could disable your iPhone camera in certain locations


posted Friday, July 1, 2016 at 2:03 PM EST


While it's tempting to take photos at a concert with your phone, and I'm sure many of us -- myself included -- have at one time or another, it can easily become a distraction for everyone else. Sometimes it's even against the rules of the venue or the band on stage.

A patent filed by Apple and recently discussed by Patently Apple discusses a system that disables your iPhone's camera after receiving a specific infrared transmission.

For example, consider a concert venue with numerous transmitters set up above and around the stage like in the illustration below. When your phone is pointed at the stage, the transmitters would interact with your camera to send the message to the phone to disable its recording capabilities.

Seen via Patently Apple

This raises a few interesting questions. Could this technology be abused by people to prevent perfectly legal recording with your phone? Is it really a good thing for others to determine what we should or shouldn't be able to do with the device we bought?

On the other hand, as Shutterbug and the patent filing mention, this technology could also be utilized to provide you with additional information on your phone when you point the camera at something, such as an artifact in a museum or an animal at the zoo.

Being a patent, one Apple filed a few years ago no less, it is possible that this technology will never be realized. Nonetheless, it's interesting to consider the possibility of our cameras being disabled of their own functionality or perhaps giving us a new way to look at the world around us.

(Seen via Shutterbug