June 6th, 2011
On June 2, Apple applied for a patent on a new type of infrared technology, which may be included on their next generation. I am far from a scientist or engineer but I will try to explain the technology as best as possible.
When the camera is aimed at an image, it will detect whether there is infrared data associated with the image. If such data is detected, the device will decode it. The infrared data may contain information about the image or may modify the device’s operation.
The infrared data could even disable a function on the device. This would make it possible for concert venues and movie theaters to stop attendees from illegal recording the shows/movies. When the camera is recording a video or taking a picture and receives the infrared signal that recording it prohibited, it would immediately shut down the recording function.
This type of technology could also be used in a museum or other exhibition. When you take a photo of a work of art, information about the piece or artist would be sent to the phone, capable of even being an audio file acting as a form of an audio tour guide. The infrared could also add a watermark to photos, indicating where the image was taken.
Read a more detailed description here.