Apparently Wearing Google Glass at a Movie Theater Can Land You in a Lot of Trouble

Apparently Wearing Google Glass at a Movie Theater Can Land You in a Lot of Trouble

Jan 22, 2014

Photo credit: Ted Eytan

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Google Glass by now. Essentially a computer you wear on your head like a pair of eyeglasses, users can explore the Internet using voice commands, the results of which are displayed on a tiny screen above the eye. Right now, you can get one through Google’s early adopter’s group, the “Explorer Program.” One “Explorer” found himself interrogated by Homeland Security agents and local authorities at an AMC movie theater in Ohio while wearing his device.

During a screening of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, the Glass wearer was yanked out of the movie and questioned for several hours. The authorities suspected he was recording the movie with his device, making bootleg copies. It turns out that the man added prescription lenses to his head-mounted device, so he wears it all the time. “I realize it’s stupid to have a device with a camera pointed at the screen. But I didn’t even think of it, because I don’t use Google Glass to record other people,” he told press. After questioning, the man was released with comp movie passes for the future (yes, really). An AMC spokesman added: “While we’re huge fans of technology and innovation, wearing a device that has the capability to record video is not appropriate at the movie theater.”

There are perhaps more questions about this story than there are answers. People carry recording-capable mobile devices into movie theaters every day without incident. Should Google Glass users be “policed” by theaters just because the technology is more physically obvious? There have been other stories about users getting into trouble for wearing their head-mounted devices – like the California woman ticketed for speeding and wearing Google Glass. The charge was dismissed. Until the laws start to define the proper use of technology like Google Glass, we expect to see more stories like this in the future. In the meantime, what should Google Glass wearers do to ensure their freedoms and rights, but also their safety?

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