Apple patent will block your iPhone at concerts

Seas of smartphones recording live performances could soon become a thing of the past

iphone concern blocker
(Image credit: Apple)

A newly-granted Apple patent could have big implications for concert-goers keen to record live acts on their phones.

Filed by Apple in 2011 and granted this week, the document - snappily-titled "Systems and methods for receiving infrared data with a camera designed to detect images based on visible light" - sets out a system for remotely disabling iPhone cameras, using a live concert as a prime example of where it could work.

It uses as infrafred beam placed on stage to block any iPhone pointed towards the performers. Users would merely get a "recording disabled" message.

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The technology could be used almost anywhere, including cinemas, theatres and locations where photography is banned.

Fans recording live performances on smartphones is becoming a nuisance for both concert-goers and performers alike, reports The Guardian. Alicia Keys and Guns n' Roses are among several artists who require audiences to put their mobile devices into lockable pouches that can only be opened when they move out of a designated phone-free zone.

However, Apple's tech wouldn't completely lock fans out, reports the Daily Mail. The phones would not be disabled when pointing away from the infrared sensor so users would still be able to take selfies or photos of their friends. Alternatively, videos could get automatic watermarks, encouraging fans who do record to keep the footage to themselves.

9to5Mac picks up another aspect of the patent – a much more positive application.

It says the sensor could be positioned at a museum exhibit, for example, and pointing a camera at it could automatically throw up extra information about the piece.

The site also adds that the infrared aspect is now slightly outdated and that more modern forms of transmission, such as iBeacons, would make more sense.

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