We're all so bored of the "Should People Be Able to Take Photos At Gigs Y/N?" articles. Yes, anyone who holds their phone up for an entire show watching through a screen is moronic. Yes, their arm in your eyeline makes you want to smash their phone on the floor. But they paid to see this show, too, so they can take as many photos as they damn well please. The end. Apparently this conclusion is not clear for Apple—soon enough they may have the ability to stop everyone taking a photo at a gig altogether. According to 9to5Mac, Apple has been granted a patent that could block the camera option temporarily. The patent would allow iPhones to receive data from infrared transmitters. Transmitters in a venue could send data to your smartphone that would disable the camera while the gig is on.
"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," according to the patent details.
This technology could be used pretty much anywhere a company didn't want photos or videos taken—but let's be honest, first place this is happening is in large venues and at arena shows. Plenty of moneyed artists have been cry babies about the prevalence of phones at their performances. 5 Seconds Of Summer said it's their pet peeve, stating "I think if you're a real fan now… we've kind of expressed we don't like it—if you're on your phone at a concert… that's the worst." The Yeah Yeah Yeahs posted a notice at one of their gigs: "Please do not watch the show through a screen on your smart device/camera. Put that s--- away as a courtesy to the person behind you and to Nick, Karen, and Brian." Adele told a fan to stop filming her much to the crowd's delight. Alicia Keys stopped people from getting their phones out at all by having fans be handed a pouch to put it in that is locked up for the duration of the show.
But Apple's interference in this debate seems unnecessary. It's sinister that they will have this ability to control our phones en masse at all. At a show where many have paid in excess of $150 to get through the door, who has the right to say a fan can't take a piece of that experience home with them? Artists? Barely. Apple? Nah.
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