BlackBerry patent for a camera disabling mechanism

BlackBerry patent for a camera disabling mechanism
In order to prevent visitors or staff from taking pictures in restricted areas, Research In Motion has filed a patent for a camera disabling system in mobile phones. The application includes different solutions to limit the use of a camera (by deactivating it, or by preventing the cover lens from opening) in such predefined zones, where taking photographs is prohibited.

One way to achieve that, is by using a removable key. It could be “a pin with detectable physical characteristics required to activate” or deactivate picture taking. Another idea is for the key to be a programmable chip/card, which to have information recorded on it, required to activate/deactivate the camera. Such a pin, can also be used, to prevent the camera lens cover from opening and with a security tag attached to it, it will be apparent if it has been tampered with. Also, in such work/company areas, the employees could be obliged to connect their devices to a cradle(or a cable of some sort), which to disable the integrated camera.

The non-physical solution includes the use of a GPS and/or a wireless network access. Data, pinpointing the geo boundaries of the restricted area can be stored on the device and compared to its current location via the GPS or wireless network. If it identifies the cameraphone as positioned within those coordinates, the camera will be automatically deactivated, by software previously loaded on the device.If a software application  has been preloaded on a phone (think the Remote Admin type), a third party (company management) can use it, to disable the camera for a certain period of time. This could be helpful when attending a confidential meeting for example.

We will keep you updated on any future developments.

source: FCC via EngadgetMobile


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3 Comments

1. stuntz unregistered

why dont they just make a back that covers the camera? it will cost them next to nothing, and they'll get their money's worth.

2. Sean unregistered

why? because if you can put a cover on them on you can take them off...pretty simple solution that wouldn't work if you can take it off. Unless you want to permanently attach it to the phone, but I wouldn't imagine people wanting to walk into a building that imposes a permanent backing on their phone....

3. Indian

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

I guess blackberry is trying make money out of this option. If they are so focused on customer satisfaction, any mobile manufacture could manufacture high end phones without a camera (or) they could provide an option (with installation kit cd) where by users could uninstall the software that would enable the camera.

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