Future iPhones May Come With A Filter To Stop You From Taking Photos At Concerts

'WTF Wednesday:' Apparently Apple wants to control how and where you use the camera in its smartphone which you own.

Cover image via The Independent

Last week, on 28 June, Apple was granted a patent, that it had first applied for in 2011, for technology that could stop future iPhone cameras from taking photos or videos at concerts or sensitive areas

The technology used involves infrared signal detection technique. The concert organizers can place the devices, which emit infrared rays, on the stage and the iPhone cameras, upon detecting the rays, will disallow photography or recording.

What makes this relevant to music is that one of Apple’s “perspective view[s] of an illustrative system for communicating infrared data in accordance with one embodiment of the invention” depicts a band on a stage, and an iPhone screen with the words “recording disabled”, suggesting that this – along with preventing filming in cinemas – is one of Apple’s suggested usages for the technology.

Band blocker … How Apple’s new technology would work.

Image via Public domain

If that sounds like a nightmare to you, the same patent also has a provision where some establishments can allow photography but impose a watermark on all photos, according to The Huffington Post

Soon this may become a thing of the past.

Image via AP/Scott Roth/Invision

There is, however, one positive aspect to the patent. The technology could also be used to show users more information.

The patent also outlines ways that infrared blasters could actually improve someone’s experience at a venue. The beams could be used to send information to museum-goers by pointing a smartphone camera at a blaster placed next to a piece of art.

While it's unclear when Apple would start using the anti-camera techno, according to one tech journalist it could put off users

"It could harm Apple in the eyes of some people," said Stuart Miles, founder of gadget site Pocket Lint.

"People like freedom of speech - and who is Apple to tell me I can't record something? I think the idea would resonate more with event organisers than consumers. But it would probably harm Apple, for some people. Nobody likes to be surprised when you want to record a video but can't," said Mr. Miles.

Consumers could also switch to rival devices that do not use the technology.

A bigger concern, however, is that the same technology could be used to impinge upon freedom of speech and freedom of the press during events such as political demonstrations or police violence

The patent also raises questions about the sort of power that this technology would be handing over to people with more nefarious intentions.

Its application might help police limit smartphone filming of acts of brutality, or help a government shut off filming in certain locations.

But let's be honest, first place this is happening is in large venues and at arena shows.

Plenty of moneyed artists have been crybabies about the prevalence of phones at their performances. But Apple's interference in this debate seems unnecessary.

It's sinister that they will have this ability to control our phones en masse at all.

At a show where many have paid in excess of £100 to get through the door, who has the right to say a fan can't take a piece of that experience home with them? Artists? Barely. Apple? Nah.

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