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RIM patents anti-spycam technology

AFP   January 03, 2013
First Published: 11:42 IST(3/1/2013) | Last Updated: 13:14 IST(3/1/2013)

A filing with the US patent office details a system that would make it impossible to take inconspicuous snapshots with an RIM handset.

While every other smartphone maker is trying to improve the speed and quality of its handsets' photo-taking abilities, RIM is purposely moving in the opposite direction. In its patent filing, submitted in July, and granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on January 1, RIM has developed a system to prevent BlackBerry handset owners from taking spy shots by making it impossible to use a smartphone camera without first holding the handset still and focusing it upon a subject for a predetermined length of time.

"In short, this process extends the normal camera-taking procedure and thus requires the camera user to take pictures in a conspicuous manner -- the rationale being that a camera user would be less likely to take unauthorized pictures if such actions could be easily recognized. The camera restriction can be communicated to the device via a wireless communication network. Additionally, the restrictions and boundaries can be communicated to the device as part of an IT security policy," explains the abstract posted with the filing.

The now-granted patent highlights RIM's continued focus on and commitment to business users and like its BlackBerry Balance feature, which essentially turns a single handset into two dedicated phones -- one for business and one for pleasure -- could help to tempt the security-conscious away from Apple or Android devices.

RIM is due to unveil its much anticipates BlackBerry 10 operating system and compatible handsets at simultaneous events around the world on January 30.

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