Apple has been granted a patent for technology that could stop prevent smartphone cameras from being used in public places, such as at concerts.
The patent describes the smartphone being able to receiving coded infrared signals which would be beamed from emitters in public places. In the patent, which was first filed in 2011, a series of potential scenarios are suggested in which the technology could be used.
Depending upon what type of infrared signals are being emitted, the smartphone would either offer the user on-screen information or disable the camera functionality to stop pictures being taken.
Examples of venues in which the technology could be used include museums, where infrared signals could be emitted which could enable a smartphone to be pointed at an exhibit and be able to display additional information about it.
However an alternative and somewhat controversial use for the technology is to be used at gig venues in order to disable a smartphone camera. While many musicians have public expressed their dislike of concert go-ers being on their phones throughout a gig, the move could cause outrage amongst music-fans.
Industry experts are worried that if implemented, the patent could frustrate users due to the perceived-to-be negative uses of the technology.
It is worth noting that the technology could be defeated by ease by the smartphone user buying inexpensive infrared light filter, or by modifying the handset’s software. Consumers could also switch to rival devices that do not use the technology.
Implementation of the technology could prove highly controversial with series consequences for Apple, or it could be a roaring success – only time will tell.