Posted on Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 by Russ Fischer
It’s easy to take potshots at Google Glass — while the new tech has many adherents, it also is an object of suspicion from those who don’t see the use of Glass, or who aren’t all that keen on the boundary between physical and digital life becoming more blurred, or the idea of being captured on video even more surreptitiously than is already the case. (I’m in all the naysayer camps, to be clear, but this isn’t a place for me to talk trash about Glass.)
Here’s a story that illustrates the growing pains with Google Glass: one user had his own set fitted with prescription lenses, so that he could wear them as his primary glasses. He’s worn them to his local movie theater in the past without incident, but on his most recent outing things didn’t go so well. He was pulled out of the film and interrogated by federal agents, after the management of his AMC theater contacted the feds about a piracy incident in the theater.
The story was first reported by The Gadgeteer, based on an email from a reader, but has been confirmed by other sources, including one federal agency.
Here’s the beginning of the tale:
Because I don’t want Glass to distract me during the movie, I turn them off (but since my prescription lenses are on the frame, I still wear them). About an hour into the movie (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit), a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says “follow me outside immediately”. It was quite embarrassing and outside of the theater there were about 5-10 cops and mall cops. Since I didn’t catch his name in the dark of the theater, I asked to see his badge again and I asked what was the problem and I asked for my Glass back. The response was “you see all these cops you know we are legit, we are with the ‘federal service’ and you have been caught illegally taping the movie.”
Questions about the veracity of the story have been raised, but were quickly answered and clarified. Here’s a statement the guy who experienced the event forwarded today:
On Jan. 18, special agents with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and local authorities briefly interviewed a man suspected of using an electronic recording device to record a film at an AMC theater in Columbus. The man, who voluntarily answered questions, confirmed to authorities that the suspected recording device was also a pair of prescription eye glasses in which the recording function had been inactive. No further action was taken.
Read the full story at the link above — it is one of those weird setups where no one can quite communicate about what’s going on, at least at first.