Apple has recently been vouchsafed a patent that would allow them to ban folks from taking photos and videos in sensitive settings or places like concert venues where snapping away on your phone can ruin someone (everyone?) else’s experience. The multinational tech company had plans to safeguard the patent ever since they filed it back in 2011. The patent involves messing with the iPhone’s camera to pinpoint infrared signals that will send over data and then presumably block the user from capturing media.
Above is an illustration by Apple showing one example of how the technology would function.
And here’s how Apple describes the photo and video embargo in its patent proposal:
In some embodiments, a device may apply a watermark to detected images as an alternative to completely disabling a recording function. For example, a device may receive infrared signals with encoded data that includes a command to apply a watermark to detected images. In such an example, the device may then apply the watermark to all detected images that are displayed or stored (e.g., single pictures or frames of a video).
The company also notes that the infrared signal could also be utilized to educate people of their surroundings like providing background info of relics displayed in a museum. As a whole, there is no word on whether or not Apple will actually use this technology, but let’s hope they don’t assert some tyrannical notions with this patent of seemingly great power.