Apple's Patent Could Finally Put a Stop to iPhone Concert Photography


Getty Images / Alexander Koerner

Apple may have finally found the solution to the problem of people filming concerts on their phone instead of actually enjoying the concert. The company has invented a system where concert hosts can tell iPhones to stop recording, and disable their phones’ video capabilities.

The company was granted a patent on Tuesday by the USPTO. Catchily named “Systems and methods for receiving infrared data with a camera designed to detect images based on visible light,” the patent basically outlines a feature where the iPhone can tell when it’s in a “sensitive area” and shut off video recording. As an example, an infrared emitter at the front of the stage could send out a special signal, so when the camera sees the signal, it shuts off.

The feature could also be used to stop the recording of sensitive information. Presumably, that means the CIA could stop rogue agents from taking pictures of documents or something, although they’ll probably just block the infrared and carry on snapping. More likely would be areas open to the public for a fee, should the attraction owners not want people spoiling any surprises.


It’s not just for stopping budding gig photographers from ruining your night, either. Apple also outlines a use where pointing the camera at objects in a museum could display more information about their origins, or provide a link to watch a video about the object.

Apple has plenty of patent ideas that never make it past the drawing board, though. Recently, the company has patented a special left-handed mode, a Nintendo DS-like smart cover, and a digital headphone connection. This anti-recording mode may never see the light of day, but for the sake of gig-goers everywhere, it’s a relief that Apple is even considering the idea.

Related Tags