June 9, 2011 AT 12:48 pm

Apple patents the iPhone-b-gone

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Apple Patents Way to Prevent Concert Piracy @ NYTimes.com via .

A new Apple patent intended for mobile devices could help the music and film industries stop people from illegally recording a concert or a movie playing in a theater.

The patent describes an invisible infrared sensor integrated into mobile iOS devices with a built-in camera — which includes iPhones, the iPod Touch and iPad 2. As the Apple patent explains, an infrared sensor in a mobile phone could be used to search for another signal that would say whether it is O.K. to activate and record footage with the phone’s camera.

The recording industry could easily use this technology to disable a camera during a music concert by blasting an infrared signal from the stage and in turn disabling an iPhone from recording the concert for purposes of sharing it online, violating copyright laws.

We REALLY hope this comes out, the IR signals (like a TV remote) would quickly be reverse engineered and industrious makers would sell anti- paparazzi devices people could wear everywhere, turning off iDevice cameras everywhere :) Lots of mischief ahead, looking forward to it.


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11 Comments

  1. A device just as easily picked up by police to prevent photos and recording in their vicinity? I’m not sure I’m so eager….

  2. @Iridium *if* the police used iphones for recording.

  3. I think Iridium meant the police using the tech to prevent people from recording them doing bad things, ala. the police brutality videos that appear on youtube.

  4. At first glance, I would think that this could easily be circumvented by covering the IR sensor on the device. Unless they can do the IR sensing through the image capture mechanism. Then, I imagine a market for stick on IR-filtering Lens Filter.

  5. @hjohnson – we’d like to think (hope) the police would not plan ahead to wear iphone-b-gone suits so people couldn’t record them beating up people.

  6. @Dan. Makes sense.

    @adafruit: Definitely, and I’m sure that for the vast, vast majority of honorable police officers, this will never be an issue. However, for the tiny percentile of bad eggs (present in any population) who need to be exposed, this tech could make it more difficult for that to happen.

  7. citizens will just need to carry around two phones, an idevice and one that can’t be iphone-b-goned’

  8. Another “kind” reminder of how they see hardware…that is… it’s Apple’s hardware … not yours…

    I don’t like where this is going…

  9. Another DRM scheme that can be defeated by a sharpie.

    I’m cool with that.

  10. I’m so glad I’ve kept my trusty Nikon F4 that takes you know, film, the old school stuff. IR lamps do me nuthin! Come get me I say ;-)

    But I do agree that it will be annoying if cops start using them.

  11. "citizens will just need to carry around two phones, an idevice and one that can’t be iphone-b-goned’"

    Lol, or just carry a non i-device. Less weight in your pockets, same effect!!

    I’m slightly biased since Apple is on my do-not-buy list with Sony.

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