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Apple's New Patent on Camera Usage


Apple filed a patent request to make technology that could block an iPhone's camera from being used at certain places and events and also to provide guided tours at museums, several years ago in 2011. Now after 5 years, Apple finally had their patent approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Artists such as Kate Bush, Zooey Deschanel, and Adele have publicly voiced their displeasure of audience photography at their concerts, and Apple's patent aims to prevent such occurrences by blocking the iPhone's camera at certain venues, with an official statement saying "For example, 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 device's recording function based on the command."

Apple's patent describes that their system will work off of an infrared data transmission. Camera's can typically detect visible light, but does not receive any type of data transmission from it and Apple is set to change that. The infrared devices will be placed around the venue, and once it detects your iPhone, it will then emit a signal and render your device's camera useless. This will work through the infrared device sending an encoded message to your device, your device will then decode the message, and disable its camera.

On the bright side of this horrendous patent from Apple, they will also be creating a system which will display information and give guided tours throughout museums. Apple has spoken with museums about this and it appears a large majority are on board with the idea. It's said that when you get near and object, your phone will display information about that item to let you know what you're looking at and give detailed information on the object. This new system will also be based off of the infrared system previously mentioned that aims to disable the camera.

Apple went ahead and took it a step further and will also attempt to place the infrared system in stores. Information about the product will be displayed before you on your device along with a price tag. Apple will allow you enable, disable, and set configurations for the infrared systems placed in museums and stores, but likely not in concert venues and other such places.

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