Apple patent aims to jam cell phones to prevent concert recordings, photos

Apple has struck what may turn out to be a major blow against that horrible person at the concert who obstructs your view by recording the whole event on his phone. The company has just received a patent for technology that would allow cell phones to be temporarily blocked from shooting photos or videos, after receiving infrared transmissions from a broadcasting device.

“A transmitter can be located in areas where capturing pictures and videos is prohibited (e.g., a concert or a classified facility) and the transmitters can generate infrared signals with encoded data that includes commands temporarily disabling recording functions,” said the patent, granted Tuesday.

The invention would present a far easier solution than that offered by San Francisco’s Yondr, which involves concert-goers being forced to put their devices in cases that lock when they enter the photo-free zone.

Pop superstar Adele would also be pleased. Last month in Italy, she called out a fan with a video recorder. “Can you stop filming me?” she said between songs, according to ABC News. “Because I’m really here in real life, you can enjoy it in real life, rather than through your camera.”

News of the patent will no doubt set recently departed music legend Prince dancing in his grave. In 2014, the Purple People Pleaser sued 22 anonymous people for posting links on the internet to bootleg videos of his concerts; Prince dropped the suits only when the offending links were removed.

The jamming technology could also be deployed to prevent people from taking photos and videos of museum exhibits, the patent said. However, many museums are moving away from photo prohibitions, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “There’s an undeniable benefit to having visitors tweet about their visit or share photos,” museum spokeswoman Brooke Fruchtman told Art News in 2013.

Photo: British pop singer Adele performs songs from her new album “21” during a concert at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley in 2011. (D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group)


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  • Alan

    Great technology. (sarcasm)
    Don’t want people photographing a police beating…

    • Cheap & Nothing Wasted

      I can just see tiny units that cops would wear all the time so they can beat up people without ever being recorded.

  • mzungu

    Apple is on your side. Apple had always been on your side. 😛

  • jubeininja69

    Come to Android.

  • TrickyDickie

    I wonder if they’ll stop these fanboy bloggers snapping pictures of Timmy at their own events…?

  • Sabrina

    Fine. Jam them while they’re in cars, too.

  • SecretStatePolice

    How this can be abused: This could also be used to turn on their camera, when you don’t want it on. And force upload the pictures to a remote server.

  • So the local/county/state/federal police are doing something you want to record and they block it. Unofficially of course. Are the people who write these stories actual people with brains, or are they just robots who refurgitate what the Apple geniuses tell them to write?