Google finally offered a prototype of its infamous Glass to “Explorers” (their word, not mine) last week in the UK, and the hi-tech spectacles are already causing controversy. The inbuilt camera is able to record your surroundings as well as letting you send live videos directly from your Glass to a web browser and UK cinemas have unsurprisingly become slightly concerned.
The headset has been banned due to anxieties over piracy and, like smartphones, viewers will now be asked to remove any Glass eyewear “as soon as the lights dim”. However, the cinema association are in discussions over a full blanket ban, which will prohibit them from all auditoriums “regardless of whether a film is playing or not”. And this isn’t the first privacy issue that Glass has been struck with.
Back across the pond, there has already been an altercation with a man wearing google Glass during a movie. Although he was interviewed by Homeland security he apparently had his prescription Glass frames off at the time of the film. Scorning at the bad publicity the bans have added to the already struggling product, Google declared that “We recommend any cinemas concerned about Glass to treat the device as they treat similar devices like mobile phones: simply ask wearers to turn it off before the film starts. Broadly speaking, we also think it's best to have direct and first-hand experience with Glass before creating policies around it. The fact that Glass is worn above the eyes and the screen lights up whenever it's activated makes it a fairly lousy device for recording things secretly.” At the moment the intelligent spectacles are only able to record continuously for up to 40 minutes, although with Google constantly updating their infamous frames, its only a matter of time before even more privacy issues arise.
The ban also comes on top of a recent study which found that wearables like Google Glass were able to pick up four-digit PIN codes that were typed onto an iPad… from just under 10 feet away. So it’s probably a good thing that most people have too much common sense to own a pair of the embarrassing £1000 glasses.
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