Apple makes one of the best smartphone cameras around. Now a newly published patent from the Cupertino company reveals how future iPhones could get a whole lot smarter, though the results might not always be for the best.
The patent, which was filed in 2014 and published on Tuesday, details how your iPhone camera could use infrared sensors to analyze objects in the real world based on encoded data. So, for example, if you point your iPhone at an ancient artifact in a museum, you could see more information pop up right inside the camera app. That’s the sort of thing Google Project Tango already offers, and the first such smarrtphone, the Lenovo PHAB2 Pro, will be available to consumers soon.
Apple also notes that, if you’re in an environment where photography and video recording are prohibited, the same technology could be used to disable the camera temporarily. That could be useful in a concert if the band doesn’t want to be recorded by fans, though we don’t think it would go over very well with the audience.