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Cellphones Handhelds Patents Apple

Apple Camera Patent Lets External Transmitters Disable Features 268

Posted by Soulskill
from the say-cheese-only-in-specially-approved-picture-zones dept.
sticks_us writes with news of an Apple patent application, recently published by the USPTO, for an on-board camera system that would include circuitry for processing external infrared signals. The data received from these signals could then be used to present information to the user of the device, or even to modify the device's operation. "For example, an infrared emitter could be located in areas where picture or video capture is prohibited, and the emitter could generate infrared signals with encoded data that includes commands to disable the recording functions of devices. An electronic device could then receive the infrared signals, decode the data and temporarily disable the device's recording function based on the command. ... In some embodiments, a device may apply a watermark to detected images as an alternative to completely disabling a recording function."
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Apple Camera Patent Lets External Transmitters Disable Features

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  • by Ellis D. Tripp (755736) on Friday June 03, 2011 @09:49AM (#36330578) Homepage

    That was my first thought, as well. But a closer look at the patent shows that they are using the camera sensor itself as the IR receiver. If you tape over it to block the IR datastream , you can't take any pictures with it anyway.

    What is needed is a filter that blocks IR, but passes visible light.

  • by v1 (525388) on Friday June 03, 2011 @09:54AM (#36330618) Homepage Journal

    Yet they'd never be more than one IR cut filter away from a lawsuit.

    Don't most daylight digital cameras already have IR filters on them? That's why when you look closely at a digital camera lens, it has a dark reddish tint to it. I've tried using IR light to convert a webcam into a nighttime camera and it never goes well unless i feel like tearing the camera apart and removing the filter. (which on MOST cameras, is a severe pita)

    But without that filter, the IR light overwhelms the sensor during the daytime, so it's required for daytime use. I just bought a camera that has daytime/nighttime mode, and it swings a red IR filter into place in front of the CCD for daytime operation.

    Sooooo my question is, just how effective is this system going to be if there's an IR filter in place? Now I realize it doesn't completely cut out the IR - I can for example see the blinky light on my remote in my webcam, but it's brightness is greatly reduced.

  • by kenh (9056) on Friday June 03, 2011 @10:09AM (#36330750) Homepage Journal

    Here is a list of printers [eff.org] that do and do not include the watermark...

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