THE iPhones of the future may be a bit less fun to use at rock shows with Apple experimenting with new technology that would see them disappear from crowds at concerts and other events.
The tech giant has won a patent for a new technology that uses an infra-red signal — beamed from a concert, theatre stage or movie screen — to shut down an iPhone’s camera, disabling it from taking photos or videos.
The technology under development may be a response to gripes from artists like Adele and Jack White, miffed that fans have used their phones to broadcast shows live to thousands of other, non-paying viewers.
Start-up companies such as Yondr which turn concerts into “no phone zones” by implementing what is effectively a mandatory coat check, but for your phone, have emerged in recent years.
Among the artists to use such services include Alicia Keys, Dave Chappelle, the Lumineers and Louis C.K.
Apple’s patent filing this week indicates that video functions would only be disabled by the infra-red sensors if an iPhone is pointed toward their positions on the stage — because after all, the selfie is an inalienable right.
So users would still be able to snap photos and shoot videos of their friends in the crowd, just not of the on stage action.
Apple also suggested that the infra-red signals could be used in other scenarios to enhance what users see on their screens, providing extra information on artworks at museums or products at stores, for example.
Sports fans also have used live-streaming apps such as Periscope to broadcast from games — a practice that got temporarily banned by America’s National Football League until early this year.
The patent’s approval — as is the case with hundreds of other Apple patents — won’t necessarily mean a future rollout of the feature.
This article appeared in the New York Post and was published here with permission.