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Browse Prior Art Database

Using wireless communications to limit device functionality

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000029071D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Jun-15
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Jun-15
Document File: 2 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

High-end cell phone handsets, of the type that include digital cameras, often also include local wireless capability such as Bluetooth or 802.11 (WiFi). An organisation that wishes to block functionality - such as the digital camera - on their site could require employees to install an application that identifies local restrictions via this channel. In this way, the camera or other applications could be blocked in the workplace or other specific locations without impairing their functionality elsewhere.

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Using wireless communications to limit device functionality

The general public has a perception that the introduction of digital cameras in cell phones poses a risk to both personal privacy and corporate security, see e.g. "Poke your camera phone's eye out", http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/68/34425.html. It seems likely that this will lead, if not to legal requirements, at least to corporate restrictions on the use of devices that include a digital camera. Unfortunately, the desire to provide content to 3G services and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) has led to cameras being included in almost all high-end cell phones.

Completely banning such phones from the workplace seems unfeasible, as it would require employees either to not carry cell phones, or to carry low-end models. Neither of these solutions is compatible with current social norms, so a compromise is required.

High-end cell phone handsets, of the type that include digital cameras, often also include local wireless capability such as Bluetooth or 802.11 (WiFi). Thus, it is recommended that an organisation that wishes to block functionality - e.g. he digital camera - of such cell phone on their site could require employees to install an application that identifies local restrictions via this channel. In this way, the camera or other applications could be blocked in the workplace or other specific locations without impairing their functionality elsewhere.

An alternative for devices not including local wireless connectivity would be regions, defined by cellular connectivity - e.g. collections of local base stations - in which peripherals should be disabled. This would have the added advantage of potential...