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.