No Shoot For You! Apple Patents Phone-Camera Blocking Technology

In an age where the average first-world citizen could expect to find themselves under the eyes of a camera literally hundreds of times per day, it becomes somewhat surprising when technology is invented to abet the exact opposite.  However, will blocking certain cameras’ features be in the best interests of society, or is this just a new form of censorship?

Well, at least shows will be way less populated by people like this.
(Imaqge courtesy

According to, Apple’s latest patent enables the company to develop a means of blocking iPhone users from photographing or taking video in situations where, for a variety of reasons, it may be deemed inappropriate.

Using infrared technology, iPhone cameras could be safely dismantled in certain scenarios, like at a concert where an artist does not want their work bootlegged on bad phone videos.  As Apple describes the technology in their patent:

"An infrared emitter can be located in areas where picture or video capture is prohibited, and the emitter can generate infrared signals with encoded data that includes commands to disable the recording functions of devices. An electronic device can then receive the infrared signals, decode the data and temporarily disable the device's recording function based on the command."

Come on, it's not like you were ever going to watch it again.
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More worrisome than not being able to recall your last rock ‘n roll show (which, come on, was the standard for DECADES before the iPhone) is the fact that such technology could be used to block citizens’ observations of other important events, like police malfeasance or political protests.  As the surveillance society encroaches on a variety of personal privacies, it’s important that the average citizen be able to “see something and say something” right back, when the powers-that-be try to redact life in real-time.

However, the technology could also have a positive side, such as the ability to stream additional data to one’s phone in an educational context, like at a museum.  Curated data (text, audio, or video) could be streamed directly from a nearby infrared emitter, straight into your phone, effectively adding extra details and intrigue to the exhibits.

Imagine that, using your smartphone to actually LEARN something!
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As the future moves forward, we must be keenly aware of all that we are preserving for the past.  If for any reason, we are not allowed to tell the full story, we are not giving our new generations the complete extent of our knowledge.  We must remain vigilant to keep our freedom of speech and press complete and intact, regardless of what some could try to redact.  History is not just written by the winners – it’s also photographed and videotaped by them.  We can’t allow a government or company to take that away in times of turmoil.

However, if it means a few less boy-band bootlegs on youtube, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Every artist has a few of these images that they wish could vanish from the popular eye.
Now, they just might be able to make it work...
(Image courtesy

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