Will Apple Make an iPhone that Can’t Take Pictures at Concerts? Nope.

You know all those people taking photos and shooting videos at concerts? Well, Apple has been granted a patent for a technology that could prevent this.

According to the patent, a camera could detect infrared light, which could be used as a way to jam cameras, preventing them from shooting pictures.

Systems and methods for receiving infrared data with a camera designed to detect images based on visible light are provided. A system can include a camera and image processing circuitry electrically coupled to the camera. The image processing circuitry can determine whether each image detected by the camera includes an infrared signal with encoded data. If the image processing circuitry determines that an image includes an infrared signal with encoded data, the circuitry may route at least a portion of the image (e.g., the infrared signal) to circuitry operative to decode the encoded data. If the image processing circuitry determines that an image does not include an infrared signal with encoded data, the circuitry may route the image to a display or storage. Images routed to the display or storage can then be used as individual pictures or frames in a video because those images do not include any effects of infrared light communications.

The thing is, there’s no way that Apple will implement this technology.

I think cameras at concerts are a real bummer. They prevent people from paying attention to the music. But the reason Apple won’t ever use this technology has nothing to do with concerts. Imagine if some country were to use an infrared device to prevent people from taking pictures at a demonstration or shooting pictures of events involving police, the military, etc.? This would prevent people from documenting events and exposing excesses. Given the way Apple approaches such thing, I think it’s a safe bet that this technology will never be used. And Apple owns it, so they can prevent others from using it too.

10 thoughts on “Will Apple Make an iPhone that Can’t Take Pictures at Concerts? Nope.

  1. The first impression of hearing this is: this is a forbidden technology.
    People should be persuaded other ways to not taking photos or videos in concert, or at least do it without flashlight.
    It’s also hard to say if Apple will be forced by government or certain content holders to actually implement such technology.
    Next time after taking photo, I need to immediately check it so that it Does exist on device, not the one being jammed.

    • I saw Bob Dylan last fall, and there were signs everywhere about no photos allowed. Anyone who did try to take one was quickly stopped by security. I know a few people shot pictures, especially at the very end of the concert, but not many during the show.

      • Hmm. At least this is a more acceptable approach. That technology simply sounds dangerous. Hope it never releases to the wild.

  2. The first impression of hearing this is: this is a forbidden technology.
    People should be persuaded other ways to not taking photos or videos in concert, or at least do it without flashlight.
    It’s also hard to say if Apple will be forced by government or certain content holders to actually implement such technology.
    Next time after taking photo, I need to immediately check it so that it Does exist on device, not the one being jammed.

    • I saw Bob Dylan last fall, and there were signs everywhere about no photos allowed. Anyone who did try to take one was quickly stopped by security. I know a few people shot pictures, especially at the very end of the concert, but not many during the show.

      • Hmm. At least this is a more acceptable approach. That technology simply sounds dangerous. Hope it never releases to the wild.

  3. Holy Mr. Burns! Light itself would not be free. What a triumph for capitalism that would be.

    Could the sun be next? Remember that early Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns, the irascible billionaire, blocked out the sun over Springfield so he could increase profits from his nuclear power plant? Prophesy?

    (takes tongue out of cheek) The only way this could work is if it was baked into hardware, because at a purely software level there is ALWAYS a workaround. That would have to be a gov mandate and I don’t see that happening in the US, at least not yet. Maybe China or Russia? N Korea is no chance because no one there can afford to own a camera.

  4. Holy Mr. Burns! Light itself would not be free. What a triumph for capitalism that would be.

    Could the sun be next? Remember that early Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns, the irascible billionaire, blocked out the sun over Springfield so he could increase profits from his nuclear power plant? Prophesy?

    (takes tongue out of cheek) The only way this could work is if it was baked into hardware, because at a purely software level there is ALWAYS a workaround. That would have to be a gov mandate and I don’t see that happening in the US, at least not yet. Maybe China or Russia? N Korea is no chance because no one there can afford to own a camera.

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