Apple's patents documenting innovative uses for tech are nothing new but this latest example may produce more frowns than smiles. The patent outlines a future iPhone with an infrared sensor paired with the camera.
Transmitters placed in locations (such as gigs, museums and cinemas) can beam data to the sensor, rendering the camera inoperable. Watermarks may also be applied as opposed to a full-scale blackout but we’re sure that this kind of heavy-handed enforcement will not go down too well with eager snap-happy documenters.
On the other hand, the proposed technology could be used to overlay information – think AR apps like Wikitude without the need for location information. Whether this ever sees the light of day or not it’s good to see that the boffins over at Apple labs are continuing to rack their brains. Just don't mention the part where you use your thumb to cover the IR sensor; we wouldn't want to hurt their feelings.