News

Actions

Apple granted patent allowing concert venues to block recording

Posted: 10:55 PM, Jun 30, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-01 02:59:31Z

If you have been to a concert in recent years, you know that people often open their phones to record their favorite artists perform on stage. What if artists had the ability to shut off everyone's phone from recording? 

What seems like science-fiction could become reality. 

Apple was granted a patent this week which will allow venues to shut off the recording modes to cell phone cameras. How is this possible? 

The venue could send out an infrared signal to message every cell phone within range to shutoff the phone's video and photo capabilities. According to the patent, other similar devices could be disabled for recording purposes, such as PDAs, laptops and stand-alone cameras. 

"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," reads part of the patent.

The device that could send out these signals also could be used to watermark images and videos taken by cell phone users.  

And there is little question there are a number of artists that would use this technology. Last month, Adele stopped a performance in Italy as she scolded a fan for recording her performance. 

Many venues have a no-recording policy, but it is often loosely enforced. 

Here is the official summary of the patent: 

This is directed to systems and methods for receiving infrared data with a camera designed to detect images based on visible light. 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.

Based on the decoded data, a device can display information to a user or modify an operation of the device. In some embodiments, a device can, based on received infrared data, display information to a user relating to an object near the user.

For example, an infrared emitter can be located near an object and generate infrared signals with encoded data that includes information about that object. An electronic device can then receive the infrared signals, decode the data and display the information about the object to the user.

In some embodiments, a device can, based on received infrared data, disable a function of the device. 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.