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Apple patent reveals proposal to ban iPhone from filming live events

Software on the phone and at a music or sports venue would work to disable your iPhone camera automatically.

Former Manchester United 'keeper Peter Schmeichel wouldn't be able to film with his iPhone at sporting grounds.
Former Manchester United 'keeper Peter Schmeichel wouldn't be able to film with his iPhone at sporting grounds.
Image: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

IPHONE USERS COULD be banned from filming at concerts or sporting occasions as a result of new technology being considered by Apple.

According to a report in The Times (subscription), the technology giant is developing plans to build a system that will sense when a person is trying to film a live event using one of their phones and then automatically switch off the device’s camera.

If the technology were to be developed it would mean that, for example, anyone planning to film live action at music festivals such as this summer’s Oxegen would automatically be stopped from doing so if using an iPhone.

The patent application was filed in 2009 and first discovered by the website Patently Apple earlier this month. It reveals how the software would work.

When a person holds up their phone, it would trigger the attention of infra-red sensors installed at the venue which would them disable the iPhone camera. Other features, such as texting and making phone calls phone would not be affected.

The idea would be welcomed by many in the music and entertainment industry particularly broadcasters who often lose out when footage of a concert or sporting occasion they have obtained exclusive rights for appears on YouTube.

The concept may also strengthen Apple’s hand when it comes to negotiating with record labels to sell content through its iTunes service, according to Fox News.

The Mail notes that such a technology would be good for some concert-goers who are fed up with having their view blocked by “a sea of glowing mobile phones.”

According to the New York Times the technology would also be used to transmit information to the phones when users are in museums or public galleries.

For example, if you were to point your phone at a particular piece of art it would then return information about the work on to the device screen.

However one expert told Sky News that implementing such an idea could be a long way off.

James Holland, editor of technology site electricpig.co.uk said that the patent was only the expression of an idea and no guarantee that Apple would build it. He added that implementing such a technology into venues would be a large undertaking.

The next version of the iPhone, the iPhone 5, is expected in September.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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