/Film editor David Chen pointed me towards an article in The Sun which talks about a new technology patented by Apple that will “sense when people are trying to video live events — and turn off their cameras.” According to the article:

If an iPhone were held up and used to film during a concert infra-red sensors would detect it. These sensors would then contact the iPhone and automatically disable its camera function. People would still be able to send text messages and make calls.

While this idea leaves a bad taste in my mouth, I immediately saw a better use for such technology — movie theaters.

Lets face it: the PSA’s before the movie begins aren’t working. Almost every screening I attend I see people using their phone, most of the time txting, sometimes talking while a movie plays on the screen. One time I was sitting two rows behind someone who was on the phone talking with one of his friends who was seated near the back of the theater. Talk about ridiculous. If asking nicely doesn’t work, then what?

I wish Apple would build a system which would not allow people to pick up a phone call or respond to a text message while inside a movie theater. The phone would be in lock mode while in the theater, from the time the trailers start until the end credits hit. And better yet, the technology would put all iPhones on minimum brightness, which would be less of a disturbance. So even if someone turns on their phone to check the time, it will not distract as many people from the film.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that some people need the ability to receive urgent calls/txts — doctors, parents…etc. I’m not saying that the ability to check one’s phone should be completely disabled — for example, you would still be able to see someone is calling, just not able to pick up or return the call until he leaves the theater. You would be able to read the txt message, just not be able to respond.

What do you think?

Normally I’m very against any companies controlling devices that I have purchased in full (and I’m sure the technology I described is probably breaks FCC laws), but I think this would be for the betterment of all mankind.

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