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Apple phones to block you taking concert pictures in future! – boards.ie

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The Times published an article yesterday (16 June 2011) about Apple developing software to not record public gatherings like concerts. Here’s a reaction from Ireland I fully agree to.

There was a time when the crowd at a rock concert was marked out by small flashes of fire emanating from cigarette lighters, waved in the air. Now those pockets of light are more likely to emanate from the glowing screens of mobile phones, held aloft, as festival-goers take photos or video of their favourite bands.

But new technology being developed by Apple may mean that this may soon be at an end.

The Californian company has plans to build a system that will sense when a person is trying to film a live event using a mobile phone and automatically switch off their camera.

Introduction of the system would mean ticket-holders at events such as Glastonbury, Wimbledon or next year’s London Olympic Games, could be stopped from filming the occasion on their iPhone.

A patent application filed by Apple, and obtained by The Times, reveals how the software would work. If a person were to hold up their iPhone, the device would trigger the attention of infra-red sensors installed at the venue. These sensors would then instruct the iPhone to disable its camera.

The software is seen as an attempt to protect the interests of event organisers and television broadcasters who have exclusive rights to film an event. These companies often sell their own recordings but are frustrated when mobile phone videos appear online via websites such as YouTube, allowing people to watch the concert free. The concept may also allow Apple to reach more favourable terms with record labels when negotiating deals to sell content though its iTunes online store.

Bambuser, a technology firm based in Sweden that has created an app allowing people filming any event to stream their recording live on the internet, sees it as a potential money-making exercise for Apple. Hans Voors, chairman at Bambuser, said that a better use of the technology would be to create a system through which Apple charged users a small fee to record a live event. “Apple is smart. I assume Apple is not doing this just to protect against people sharing copyrighted material,” he said. “Hopefully, they see there’s an opportunity to make money here.”

Apple’s iPhone accounts for about one in five smartphones sold in Britain, but music fans attending next weekend’s Glastonbury festival said that they would be concerned if it developed the video-blocking technology.

“It’s sad [if] I can’t keep my own memories of the festival,” said Heather Turner, 22, an iPhone owner from London. “It’s rubbish, I will just take a different phone.”

Jack Morgan, 21, from Cardiff, said: “It seems authoritarian that I can’t do what I want with my phone.”

Florence Brockway, 22, who is attending this year’s Glastonbury Festival, said: “That’s a real shame, you won’t be able to share your enjoyment of the festival with friends and family.”

Apple filed its patent application with US authorities 18 months ago, but details have only become available this month.

via Apple phones to block you taking concert pictures in future! – boards.ie.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 17, 2011 at 12:14

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