RIM looks to prevent sneaky camera shots with new patent

Bold 9900 Camera
By Adam Zeis on 1 Jan 2013 01:48 pm EST
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RIM was awarded another patent today, this one to prevent "inconspicuous" use of the camera. The patent places a restriction on quick photo snapping as the subject will have to remain in focus for a specified amount of time before the picture can be taken. This will just add to the already great security of BlackBerry devices, hoping to lock down "spy" shots in a corporate environment and similar photos that could be taken without someones knowledge. In the past RIM has offered up devices that flat out didn't have a camera, so this patent could do away with excess cameraless models for good.  

94 comments

Balti43

what about when you need that quick shot? :|

Joy1980

What if it is something that can be activated via BES, since this is an enterprise thing?

Rub3n5

Ugh... this patent sucks. One of the things I hate about every BlackBerry I've had is the amount of time it takes to snap a photo.

BionicKris

I agree that it should be tied into BES. There are a lot of situations where quick shots are needed for personal photos, such as when taking pics of squirmy kids, pets, etc. I hope it's not baked into the phone on BB10- but it won't stop me from picking up one of those new handsets. Counting down the days.. #ComeOnBB10

diegonei

One of the videos showing the camera on the Dev Alpha kinda hints at the BES use of this.

The device can shot pictures non-stop if you "tap-mash" the camera shot icon.

Alex_Hong

How about geo-location restriction of the camera app? When the phone senses that you're in a building where image capturing devices are not allowed, the IT policy will prevent the camera from activating.

F2

I hope that they restrict this "feature" to IT policies and don't bar the rest of us from taking the occasional action shot!

stranger99

I get their intent, but this is terrible. When I want to take a picture, I generally want to take it as soon as possible before moment is lost.

LazyEvul

No worries guys, this feature will be determined by IT policy's and shouldn't apply to consumer phones.

megajo123

Wait wait wait? With the stop mostion camera, wouldn't you be able to focus, then take the picture as someone is grabbing or moving what ever object it is, then go back in time to still get the perfect shot?

Qaxl

Relax guys...Its not for Consumers ... and most likely wont be on your phones.

dbarz

relax, its just a patent... not an announced feature

PowderJockey

Thumbs up to this. Too many needless photos end up costing people problems.

shupor

....hopefully the concept will never see the light of day on consumer devices and if it does, there will be an option to toggle off/on with the default setting being off

Shanerredflag

Patents are a good thing, even if not used by the patent holder...just ask Nokia..

kraski

This feature can be helpful, if you want to prevent "bad"pictures (you can define what those might be). On the other hand, this kills getting good shots of the kids in action. And despite the comments assuring us this is only going to be included in certain circumstances or it's only a patent, not a built in feature yet, I don't see anyone from RIM saying any of that. And RIM has made other "interesting" choices they've had to backpedal on. I'll wait and see.

cRACKmONKEY421@hotmail.com

Couldn't they just push an IT policy to disable the camera completely and still do away with the cameraless models for good? If I were the IT department and worried about people taking pictures, I'd just want all cameras completely disabled. Just because a subject isn't quickly moving doesn't mean the camera is not being used in an "inconspicuous" way. But anyway, extra features are always a plus, as long as they can be turned off of course.

AceOfSpade1234

But determining what state the phone is in, beit 'Corporate' or 'Personal' is up to the user. So if the corporate policy is to have camera snap delays, what would be stopping the user from flipping to 'Personal' mode and using the personal camera settings there?

hmmm,...

GeneralHerzog

You can't. BB Balance locks out whatever IT policy deems of importance to the business' security. If they deem the camera (and most IT policies do) to be an important possible risk or as is the case of the video camera on the PB, a bandwidth risk, they restrict access to it.
So if you do use your own BB for work...you may still end up being restricted to using it the way your company wants.

That's not to say you can't ask your employer to relax the policy on your personal device......but that's not always an easy task.

I personally really really really hate the delay in snapping a pic on the 9900. This new patent will only serve to make using our devices for pics less and less convenient.

goku_vegeta

Turn off the image stabilization. Since it's not optical image stabilization, it won't really help you at all. Then see the Zero Shutter Lag RIM kept on bragging about ;)

Jonathank

WE ALL DO NOT WORK AT THE PENTAGON, WHY CAN'T THESE FEATURES BE OPTIONAL like when the device 1st boots up (like when u choose the language).....THIS ALSO REFERS TO THE LIMITED PASSWORD RESTRICTIONS (WE CAN'T USE CERTAIN PASSWORDS LIKE Blackberry or qwerty WTF)

BruvvaPete2

WHY DO PEOPLE FEEL THE NEED TO USE SO MANY CAPS IN THEIR COMMENTS? Seriously. Relax. Stop doing that crap.

Jonathank

People REALLY need to stop making it a big deal... its a couple of freaking capital letters and it always seems to annoys someone... I say RELAX its not that big of a deal, its a NEW YEAR

BruvvaPete2

I'm as relaxed as they come, but putting words ib caps, in the tech world is akin to "yelling". If you don't understand that then I don't know what to tell ya.
.
Peace.

collinc93

yes worse patent because you guys are the experts.......sure

Jonathank

This calls for complaints about Camera Lag/Delay.... Not a good sign from what it looks like but I guess once again wait and see

Matr00

Lol to the time the subject needs to stay in focus, when you have a DOF camera

gidiano

So the security staff of a place I visit with my smartphone will know that I have this feature? I don'nt think so. The system to hand off phones with cameras to security for the time you visit a place will remain. So no benefit at all.

BBBoldismyDRUGofChoice

Pump the brakes everyone. Just because you patent this doesn't mean you intend to use it or are planning to. Couldn't it be that RIM is being proactive and locking down a patent for something that could be used in other industries (by other companies) to simpy either block others from patenting the same thing or to have it to potentially get royalties from a company who will have a use for OT at some time.

twstd.reality

Exactly. So much spaz over nothing. The patent game these days is to patent anything and everything. If it gets rejected, make a slight modification and resubmit until it gets accepted. Wash, rinse, repeat.

ssbtech

One problem with all the security baked into these phones (even if we're just talking corporate owned phones with IT policies) is that users feel like the devices are crippled (because they are by the IT policy) and insist on getting something "better, like an iDroid" for personal use.

It's the BlackBerry's own security restrictions that in many cases make them unfavorable amongst consumers. Would you go buy a personal BlackBerry if your work-issued BB is not enjoyable to use?

Kennedy.L

My way around the noise of the camera when trying to take a sneaky picture is doing a screen munch (screen capture) when the camera is open. Works 100% of the time, everytime.

elcheapodeluxe

I think Mr Zeis really doesn't understand the restrictions that necessitate those camera-less models. This will have virtually no effect. Many of my customers are government contractors and the terms of their contacts require that they ensure neither employees or subcontractors bring cameras into restricted areas - usually meaning the entire building. No BES policy could substitute enforcement of the no-camera policy because I am only visiting each of my customers for no more than a week at a time, not as a permanent employee. My Blackberry remains on my own corporate BES, not their BES, so they have no way to ensure compliance. Furthermore, while it has long been possible to disable the camera in BES policy, many contractors err on the side of caution when interpreting the government's no-camera rule. Rather than risk liability or the loss of their contract, they will side with no camera meaning no camera, period. The only way I am allowed to bring my Blackberry with me is if it physically doesn't have a camera.

BruvvaPete2

This has nothing to do with IT or BES since we can have two profiles (personal & professional) on a BB10 device where we can switch back/forth at ease... Unless the device is strictly for work and has one profile only.

shabbs

Ever try taking a pic of your kid? Yeah, that's gonna work. NOT. I can see this having specific uses where needed but not for widespread Berry users.

collinc93

It makes no sense posting logical reasoning sometimes its as if no one reads it anyway. It never said that this will be in the phones...its a registering of a patent but as usual people starting baying like sheep about things that may or may not be so. Worst patent?......seriously get a grip

TomJasper

Posted by collinc93 Tuesday, Jan 01, 2013 7 min ago
It makes no sense posting logical reasoning sometimes its as if no one reads it anyway. It never said that this will be in the phones...its a registering of a patent but as usual people starting baying like sheep about things that may or may not be so. Worst patent?......seriously get a grip.
__________________

Exactly,lol. I have to wonder about the intelligence of some at times, more so when they can't or refuse to read the facts. Jeeesh!

Of course you will always have thoses posters who FAKE their response/s so they can try and put FAKE facts, so silly, fools nobody.

Like collinc93 has said... Get a grip.

Theses patents are clearly for a corporate scenario, if they ever get used and how they function in that corporate world is NOT known at this time,so any other so called hard facts otherwise is/are 100% BS.

xiaohuaxing

Yea, just like how it not being possible to turn the camera shutter sound off is "clearly for a corporate scenario" too right? Real intelligence right there.

TomJasper

shabbs Tuesday, Jan 01, 2013 22 min ago
Ever try taking a pic of your kid? Yeah, that's gonna work. NOT. I can see this having specific uses where needed but not for widespread Berry users.
___________________

This is the kind of post I'm talking about(FAKE RESPONSE) or at the very least somebody who can't/won't read and makes their own reality.

I will be so happy when Jan 30 2013 gets here, as trolls,BS'ers, etc will be leaving by the shiploads , lol.

Come on Jan 30 2013!!

shabbs

Did you gloss over my comment where this would be good for specific uses but not widespread deployment or do you just stop reading when you think you've found a post to prove your lame point?

ismarkwright

My friend has this feature on his SG3 phone and it SUCKS!! He tried to take a picture of his dog the other day with a new sweater on and he could not get the dog to stay still long enough to take a good picture.

I had to take the picture with my BB Curve and email it to him so he could share it with his family on FB. SILLY FEATURE IMO!

TomJasper

Posted by ismarkwright Tuesday, Jan 01, 2013 11 min ago
My friend has this feature on his SG3 phone and it SUCKS!!....
____________

Really,lol? Your friend has a RIM corporate use patented idea, that is not even out yet, on his none Blackberry phone,lol.

Remind me to favourite your posts in the future, I wouldn't want to miss anymore of your insightful _______t.

BruvvaPete2

Why are you not simply replying to people's comments instead of copying and pasting what they post?

shabbs

He must be new to the interwebs...

;)

Heh heh.

ismarkwright

This feature does exist right now in the Galaxy S2 (not 3)....I personally tried it myself a few days ago and its inability to take a quick picture with out taking 3 seconds to focus on the object was frustrating and almost inoperable for moving images. Maybe RIM designed it initially and now is trying to patent it, which is fine with me...but it currently exists in the phone I tried.

jafrul

I say this beats the easy access camera icon.
But of course its a total crap if it is for consumer. Hopefully everyone is right that this feature is for BES users...
Otherwise we all have to lug extra smartphone for that quick capture moments and upload quick..

xiaohuaxing

Wow, leave it to RIM to shoot itself in the foot. If this ever comes to market for non-enterprise/gov users, they're toast. Consider all the comments here "consumer feedback" on that brilliant idea.

Rootbrian

CORPORATE USE, not consumor use.

decypher44

It's bad enough that we have to have a damn shutter sound with every snap (annoying!!!), but now it will take longer to snap a photo? So, pics of my kid playing, photos at a sporting event, etc...impossible?

LWKING

I hear Blackberry Balance does an awesome job at separating business from consumer

TomJasper

decypher44 Tuesday, Jan 01, 2013 2 min ago
It's bad enough that we have to have a damn shutter sound with every snap (annoying!!!), but now it will take longer to snap a photo? So, pics of my kid playing, photos at a sporting event, etc...impossible?
_________________

So your kids have sporting events in corporate boardrooms, interesting seeing as this RIM patent idea is for secure corporate settings only. Lord help me, please let Jan 30 2013 arrive ,lol.

decypher44

Aspergers? Mild retardation? Not enough affection from your parents when you "were" a child?

Oh, and Tom, shutter sound is not a BES-Only feature.

/smfh

Shanerredflag

LOL...In a politely Canadian way.

litig8or98

Your comment is uninformed.

Read the patent. If you haven't attention span for that, read the article. NOWHERE does it say it is strictly for a corporate setting. Nowhere.

As for the patent itself, quite frankly, it's a BS patent. There's absolutely nothing creative or inventive about it. Basically, its "so you take a camera, and instead of it being able to take a picture when you press the button, it'll take, like, 10 seconds or so".

If it's on a consumer or a corporate device, eventually you'll get to the following conversation:
"Hey, everyone hold still...I want to take a picture"
"Have you done it yet?"
"No...it'll take a couple more seconds"
"Why...is your phone broken? Maybe you need a new one?"

But wait, you say...this is only a patent. Nothing to say they'll actually implement it. Sure, but how many commentators here complain about those companies that come up with BS patents for no other reason than to wait to sue someone.

No thanks...if i want to wait for a photo, I'll get a polaroid.

TomJasper

tig8or98 Tuesday, Jan 01, 2013 18 min ago
Your comment is uninformed.

Read the patent. If you haven't attention span for that, read the article. NOWHERE does it say it is strictly for a corporate setting. Nowhere.
_____________

Here ya go. Your welcome. :)

"The tool would be in line with the company's mission to protect corporations from security vulnerabilities, which include not only unauthorized access to data, but also leaks from employees."

"Just how long you need to keep your BlackBerry still could be dictated by individual IT departments, which would also have the power to flip the switch and push restrictions to an employee's device."

litig8or98

It also mentions the corporate setting as being an example of where this functionality might be desirable. BUT IT DOES NOT say (nor do your selected excerpts) that it would exclusively be corporate.

With companies like mine, you have to take the Blackberry, and can, if you want, add your phone service to it. Like many, I don't like the idea of carrying two devices, so I carry only my (rather, the companies) Blackberry. So my "consumer use" phone (weekends, anyway) would potentially be subject to such limitations.

Incidentally...many companies are like mine, and require employees to carry a Blackberry. Also like mine, many are now opening up the system to other devices, now that RIM has moved to ActiveSync (no, I don't know what this means, but my IT guy seems to). The informal straw poll at my office would suggest that at least 50% of the people carrying will be dropping BB in the new year, most in favour of the iPhone.

TomJasper

litig8or98 Tuesday, Jan 01, 2013 2 hrs ago
It also mentions the corporate setting as being an example of where this functionality might be desirable. BUT IT DOES NOT say (nor do your selected excerpts) that it would exclusively be corporate.
_________________

I have no reason to lead you astray.
Call RIM and then when you are satisfied that I'm not
leading you astray make sure to come back to this thread
and say thanks or something along those lines. :)
Fair enough?
Jeesh.

litig8or98

C'mon Tom...you're really suggesting that I call RIM for you, and have them confirm to me what they really really meant by this BS patent, all to reinforce what you and several others READ INTO the patent information?

Tell you what, since you clearly need the last word, I'll skip a step, and confirm for you that you must be right, and although the patent says nothing about it, the applicability of this "innovation" would never, ever affect consumer phones. It would obviously only work in, as you say, a boardroom. I was wrong. So, yeah...thanks.

Maybe start taking the pills again, though. Might make the voices go away.

TomJasper

litig8or98 Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 54 min ago
C'mon Tom...you're really suggesting that I call RIM for you, and have them confirm to me what they really really meant by this BS patent, all to reinforce what you and several others READ INTO the patent information?
___________

I'm straight up with you, give you an opportunity to redeem yourself and yet you still come back to bash, in all seriousness what is your motivation?

You think I can't read your posts are all over the internet, where the majority of time you spend bashing a phone, a reviewer of HTC phones, proclaim how cheap you are , glowing about your Palm Treo,your used HTC Diamond find, etc ect. Grow up already,I mean that sincerely.

LWKING

The patent prevents blurry pics. No more Mr. Blurrycam. The instance that it's not blurry, it will take. I think you'd actually enjoy that.

TomJasper

xiaohuaxing Tuesday, Jan 01, 2013 26 min ago
Wow, leave it to RIM to shoot itself in the foot. If this ever comes to market for non-enterprise/gov users, they're toast. Consider all the comments here "consumer feedback" on that brilliant idea.
________________

Edit: Leave it to some not to read. Consider some comments here made by some who use the word "if" to make their own reality,lol. The RIM patent idea in question is only for secure corporate settings.

decypher44

Can we report commenters just for being extremely lame and annoying?

You know, like those posters who write things that are just too embarassing?

TomJasper

BruvvaPete2 Tuesday, Jan 01, 2013 3 hrs ago
This has nothing to do with IT or BES since we can have two profiles (personal & professional) on a BB10 device where we can switch back/forth at ease... Unless the device is strictly for work and has one profile only
________________

It has everything to do with a corporate setting. Has nothing to do with what you do "outside" of a corporate setting. Every corporate/gov/military setting has their own security level, 0-10. I'm sure depending on the security level you will wave the camera portion of your balance to the delay aspect while on corporate. NFC in/out and an app should easily handle this I would think.

Based on an approved RIM patent that may or may not ever see the light of day.

BruvvaPete2

If you're gonna reply to my comment stop copying and pasting the initial comment. How do you not understand there is a reply link attached to each comment?
.
By the way, if someone really wants to take a photo wherever they are they'll find a way. A delay means sfa. It's like saying your house won't be burglarized because you have an alarm system.

san4berry

They already rolled it out, it's called the 9900 camera

andyJH

There are already laws in place requiring the "shutter sound" to stop people from sneaking inappropriate photos. People turn down their speaker volumes to get around this feature. Now this... If people would just give up skirting the law we would not face new limitations.

Jimcmf

They need to think of something better. Who is feeding them these stupid ideas?

LWKING

There are a significant amount of users that comment that just refuse to THINK.

If you would at least TRY to see the significance of the patent then it might make some sense to you.

It's a great idea actually. The patent prevents BLURRY PICTURES! You would retake the picture anyways if it was blurry. This will at least bring you the satisfaction of knowing that the picture is perfect EVERYTIME you take one!

Seriously people, use your head. You would love this thing

TomJasper

I actually think it's a brilliant idea, think outside of the box, this could be paired with _____ and become an industry standard. I think at this point the whole package is not complete, as such I doubt this patent will be expanded on Jan 30 2013 .

Missing the forest for the trees. ;)

hrishi911

Stupid patent
Im glad i have moved to android

TomJasper

Hrishi911,

That's interesting, didn't think they had them way over in Paramaribo.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/author.php?author=hrishi911

Stay classy,lol.

BruvvaPete2

I'm glad you moved to Android too. Now if only you would keep your comments over on the Android Central side we'd all be happier :D

collinc93

^^^^^^lol OMG......sorry I had to use some childish euphemism to respond....

kjjb0204

This sounds like something apple would do. Their way or the highway. Let's just decide what's best for our customers and force it on them. Pass.

LWKING

It's just a patent, they don't have to use it. Everybody acts like a time delay is a big deal. It's not going to take you 10 seconds to take a picture... I doubt anyone would notice if it was put to use

djdragon

Man I seriously have to find out the recruiting station for all the fake users bashing in this thread, I bet it pays well.
As Jan 30th draws closer the iDroids are doing damage control via the Scientology playbook.

kraski

I'm glad you finally found me out. I'd hate to think anyone who's active in these forums would ever say Blackberry could do even the slightest thing wrong. So, let's look at the complaints and comments.

1) If used, this kills using your BB for fast action sports shots or getting the kids at play. If you think that's false, you've probably never picked up a camera.

2) This is for government and business only. There's nothing in the original post that says this. And those speculating in the comments haven't posted any links where that's been proven.

3) This is only a patent. Why would any phone manufacturer get a patent for a phone camera "feature" if they themselves aren't going to use it? To license to other phone makers?

Sorry for trolling by disagreeing that this is a useful feature.

LWKING

I'd bet that it's only active on the business side of Blackberry Balance.

TomJasper

Djdragon,

Funny you say that, I mentioned to Bla1ze in another thread he should take lots of B-complex because it's only going to get more noisy in here before Jan 30 2013 ,lol. By noise I mean the white noise from the competition trying in vain to drown out what they can't stop, that being BB10 powered Blackberry's.

Jan 30 2013 can't come soon enough.

djdragon

Agreed. It's evident the anti RIM BS party is in full effect.

DaSchwantz

All patents are good for RIM. The more the better. You don't limit the scope of use in the patent itself, that would be stupid. There are probably 10 patents out for every item that becomes a feature, and if it ever does, it sounds like it would be enabled through corporate IT policies, although perhaps you could set it for yourself on your own phone if there ever was a reason to. People need to chill. Although a patent can be pretty useless, it can never have negative value. And the most critical patents that are tied to features are released in a much more controlled fashion than this one. Stop talking about taking pictures of your dog please.

Rootbrian

People really need to chill the hell out.
It's just a god damn patent and doesn't mean it'll be on EVERY SINGLE BLACKBERRY. Remember, it's FOR THE CORPORATE SIDE, not the consumer side. People just never read these days. -.-

sdharden

Another boneheaded move by RIM. Nobody wants to wait 16 hours before they can snap a picture. People will simply get a phone which "doesn't" require a nine year pause before snapping a picture of their dogs. See RIM, dogs won't hold still for a picture. Geez... RIM is doomed.

Rootbrian

No, this is for the CORPORATE SIDE. RIM isn't doomed.

LWKING

I'm pretty sure the ones who designed this are much smarter than all of us here. Give them the benefit of the doubt before you judge. They're not idiots.

Besides, ever heard of Blackberry Balance? Did it ever occur to you that Balance might be a great way to incorporate this feature for companies?

Relax! You'll still be able to take quick pics of your dogs!

Raestloz

Good luck trying to convince your boss with "Relax, man! My dual-camera BlackBerry can't take a photo without you knowing!"
If the environment calls for "No Camera", then that it: No Camera. How in the flying squirrel would someone know your camera is not operable? This is software, you can simply turn off the feature during body check and turn it on again after, which defeats the entire point of "security".
The purpose of Camera is to obtain picture, especially for personal, family use. The problem with this patent is the fact that, unlike folders that you can lock, there is no way to know what you're doing when you're trying to snap a picture. If you can switch to Personal, snap, switch to Business and pretend nothing happened, what's the point?
Unless RIM built-in a Camera-quality video recording to compensate for the longer wait, this is going to be problematic. I hope they don't intend on implementing this on early BlackBerry 10 devices, but build a special camera for security purpose instead. Like, joint project with Nikon or Kodak or something.

BruvvaPete2

RIM is doomed for getting a patent? How many hits of acid did you take before writing that?

Jaredius

I hope an app is developed to allow instant, silent shots. I would pay $10 for it.

stevedefrel

K thats crap! No one needs to take action shots do they?! lol give your heads a shake...

Shanerredflag

Once again...patents are good.

jeremyn

Yeah, so for everyone claiming that RIM has "zero shutter lag" or whatever - pics or it didn't happen. Literally.

I've tried with every stupid BlackBerry I've ever owned to snap a certain pic of other BlackBerry phones I've worked on that are stuck in reboot loops. The pic I've NEVER been able to get is of the white screen of death with the Java debug info that pops up for about half a second before the device reboots again....and If by some miracle you _are_ able to time it just right and get the damn phone to snap the photo during that 0.5 second window (I've timed it right just once out of the 50 or so times I've tried), the resulting pic was useless anyway because the white balance was way off going from a nearly fully black screen (where the auto-focus and white balance were adjusted) to the nearly fully white screen with the black printing on it which was either out of focus or over-exposed or something.

The really sad part? My buddy with his iPhone (I think he owned the 3GS or the 4 at the time) was able to get a perfectly readable snap of that Java debug screen the FIRST TIME he tried.

Now granted I've not yet been able to get my hands on one of the BB10 dev phones to see if this has improved at all, but holy crap, RIM....if the camera on your newest and shiniest device isn't at least as fast as the iPhone model from 2 years ago, you've already FAILed. It's waaay past time to step it up. Get up off the locker room floor, get back out into the area, and re-join the race already.

I'm tired of saying "Damn, I wish my BlackBerry could do that" every time my buddy shows me a new trick on his Steve Jobs' special.

djdragon

"Steve Jobs special", is that the mobile phone equivalent of a Dirty Sanchez?

tezytan

i think you forgot enable constant shoot mode :)