Apple are creating a software for the worlds most popular make of phone (iPhone) that will cause them to deactivate cameras and sound if attempted in the theatre whilst a performance is going on. The technology would not affect other phone functions, such as incoming and outgoing calls.
Ringing phones are a lot more harmful to the theatre going experience, I think. Plus, how harmful is it to take a selfie in the theatre before the show starts? And what about times when it's actually okay to use your cell phone like in a pop concert that is held in a theatre?
Plus, how would this work? Will it be an automatic function in the software of the iPhone? What does Apple get out of this?
My first thought was about technology that theatres might need to prevent that function working on phones or whether anything is available that does this. Id far rather see something that prevents phones from ringing in theatres
They've patented it. That doesn't mean they intend to implement it, merely that they want to rake in money if someone else implements it. I can't imagine "Now works in fewer places!" is going to be much of a sales pitch.
I bet the real driver for this isn't the annoyance of phone use in theatre performances, but the rather more mercenary protection of the big musical artists copyright at gigs where trying to control phone camera use has failed.