Camera Obscuring: Does Apple Have Anti-Concert-Bootlegging Tech In The Wings?

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Hey, kids, planning to use your iPhone to capture some footage at the U2 concert and post it on YouTube?  Not if a rumored Apple patent has anything to do with it.

As smartphone picture-taking and video-recording capabilities continue to improve with each passing year, more and more concert-goers are using them to grab full-motion mementos — even though the smaller sensors and microphones are usually no match for the megawatt sound and light rigs used by the average coliseum rock show.  And this despite a venue's obligatory "no picture or video taking" policies.  (Then again, are YOU going to be the security guard who wades into the middle of a mosh pit in order to relieve some teenybopper of their iPhone?)  There are also a few more enlightened groups (e.g. Nine Inch Nails) who tolerate concert bootlegging for non-profit purposes, and even go so far to encourage fans to produce and distribute collaborative concert-film projects.

That all may end — at least in the iDevice sphere — if an Apple patent filing (from eighteen months back, but just recently discovered) has anything to do with it.  The proposed tech would involve an infrared sensor incorporated into iPhones and iPods, and corresponding detection equipment onstage.  In short, if the stage gear sensed that an iDevice was videotaping a performance illegally, it would send a "kill command" that would shut down the camera function.  (Phone calls, messaging, etc. would be unaffected.)

An article on The Sun (UK's) website describing the anti-camera tech has prompted comments ranging from paranoia ("Soon police cars will have it so you can't film them, etc.") to gloating that, if it's an Apple patent, hopefully Droid phones would be immune.


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