We have all done it: taken a sneaky photo at a concert that prohibits the use of cameras so as to share your experience on social media. But Apple’s newly granted patent has the ability to thwart that rebellious streak. The patent describes technology that emits infrared beams which can be picked up by the camera and interpreted by the smartphone as a command to block the user from taking any photos or videos. Although the technology (when applied to the filming of concerts and other live performances) is probably a good thing, could it be a double edged sword? How would we feel if governments used this technology to prevent the filming of other lawful activities?
First applied for in 2011, the patent describes a system whereby a phone could receive and understand information from infrared emitters placed in public spaces, via its camera. The primary example given is an emitter placed on stage that would disable photography and recording on any phones pointed towards it.