As the debate rages on concerning where you can and cannot operate Google's new nerd goggles, Google Glass, can we at least agree on something - it's probably best to leave them out of the movie theater?
This is not a piracy argument, and it's not an argument for or against any tactics law enforcement may or may not have employed. If this currently one-sided story is to be taken at face value, the authorities in charge here appear to have acted inappropriately - or at least took things a bit far. I'm simply talking common sense here. Seriously, just leave the Google Glass at home next time you go to the movies (or at least take them off your face when the movie starts).
So here's the story. According to someone who wishes to remain anonymous, the Feds had a pretty rough go at him for wearing Google Glass at a Saturday night showing of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Our Google Glass pioneer's story first appeared on The Gadgeteer, where he claims that the AMC theater in Columbus, Ohio aided the FBI in removing him from the movie, "detaining," and questioning him for over an hour - all the while accusing him of illegally recording the film.
A charge that he vehemently denies. From his account:
I kept telling them that I wasn’t recording anything – my Glass was off, they insisted they saw it on. I told them there would be a light coming out the little screen if Glass was on, and I could show them that, but they insisted that I cannot touch my Glass for the fear “I will erase the evidence against me that was on Glass”. I didn’t have the intuition to tell them that Glass gets really warm if it records for more than a few minutes and my glasses were not warm.
They wanted to know where I got Glass and how did I came by having it. I told them I applied about 1000 times to get in the explorer program, and eventually I was selected, and I got the Glass from Google. I offered to show them receipt and Google Glass website if they would allow me to access any computer with internet. Of course, that was not an option. Then they wanted to know what does Google ask of me in exchange for Glass, how much is Google paying me, who is my boss and why am I recording the movie.
Our Glass user says that he was only wearing them because they contain his prescription lenses - basically he was just wearing the tech as his normal prescription eyewear (he had a normal pair of glasses which he'd left in the car).
After an hour or so of questioning, one which involved the downloading of personal files from his Glass onto a satellite laptop in order to prove he wasn't recording the movie (something he himself suggested), he was apparently given free passes to another show and an apology from a guy at the so-called "Movie Association."
An apology which didn't really assuage his frustration, by the way.
In the end, our anonymous Glass user concedes that this probably could have been avoided:
I guess until people get more familiar with Google Glass and understand what they are, one should not wear them to the movies. I wish they would have said something before I went to the movies, but it may be my mistake for assuming that if I went and watched movies two times wearing Glass with no incident the third time there won’t be any incident either. As for the federal agents and their level of comprehension… I guess if they deal with petty criminals every day, everybody starts looking like a petty criminal. Again, I wish they would have listened when I told them how to verify I did nothing illegal, or at least apologize afterwards, but hey… this is the free country everybody praises. Somewhere else might be even worse.
It also may have been the case that he simply got unlucky. Here's what he told Phandroid:
"From what (REDACTED) said, they were having known issues on that theatre, and they had suspicions there would be attempts to pirate that particular movie. Columbus is not a big city, and I think it was about an hour after the movie started until they snatched me out."
Yeah, the Feds look pretty incompetent here. As does the theater. But in the end, dude shoulda saw this coming, right? If I were to watch a movie, in a theater, with my iPhone pointed at the screen the entire time - what would be the result? On or off, innocent or malicious - that just looks bad. If you sit through a movie with a camera on your face, it's can't be that shocking when suspicions are aroused.
Alongside casinos and motor vehicles, I'm sure we'll soon add movie theaters to the list of places where Google Glass is banned. But until it's specifically banned, it's probably wise to take the damn things off your face when you're in a movie.
Image via lawrencegs, Flickr