A patent for an infrared system that could be used to shut off iPhone cameras and microphones at live performances is one of dozens awarded to Apple last month.
The company first applied for a patent for the infrared camera system in 2011, according to Patently Apple, which noted the technology’s great potential.
The system could assist the music and movie industries by automatically disabling camera functions at movies or concerts. However, the technology could have other applications as well — for example, turning an iOS device into a museum or city tour guide, or a source of product information at a retail outlet.
How It Works
The camera described in Apple’s patent would detect more than an image. If the image contained an infrared signal with encoded data, the data would be routed to circuitry in the camera to decode the data.
One possible way of using the data the infrared signal delivered could be to display information to users about objects next to them — a painting in a museum, for example.
Another way of using the data could be to disable camera functions.