In the latest tech news, Apple has won approval for a new patent that would “allow infrared signals to send data to cellphones and their cameras.”
Among the various functions of this patent, one of the central ideas is that this would allow concert venues to block phones from being able to take pictures or video.
Even before the approval of this patent, there have been several cases where artists have explicitly asked for their fans to put their phones away. These artists include notable acts like She & Him and Alicia Keys. In addition, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s once posted a rather comical sign at one of their venues, urging concertgoers to be respectful and “not watch the show through their phone.”
Therefore, there is a good likelihood that some artists and venues would want to use this feature, but it does raise some controversial questions. As David Wendell Phillips, Of Counselor of O&A and former General Counsel for IGN, AOL and Napster, discussed with Billboard, this could also contradict users’ private liberties.
However, other than the patent being able to restrict users from taking video and pictures, it could also provide useful information. For instance, it could provide targeted ads based on your location or give you more information on an object that’s being photographed.
Though this could provide similar controversies, the utility of the patent is also not forgone. However, with recent events surrounding privacy, the implementation of this patent could be a difficult one.