The “appropriate” legal public uses of Google Glass are under scrutiny again, as an innocent moviegoer with the futuristic gizmo attached to prescription lenses got arrested and interrogated while quietly attending a screening in an AMC theater.
Kudos to the first ever Google Glass explorer to be unjustly penalized for wearing (and not actively using) the device behind the wheel for fighting back and ultimately getting the blurry charges thrown out in court. But as expected, this is only the start of an uphill struggle Big G is facing to dodge bans of its head-mounted computer in numerous “outdoor” activities.
Second battlefield: cinemas. With the war against piracy probably surpassed in law enforcement resources only by the war against drugs, it was a matter of time until the police force and Google Glass clashed.
And so they very recently did, when a G Glass user suspected of subversive video recording enterprises was yanked out of a theater halfway through watching “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” (worry not, you missed nothing), and harassed for, well, basically forgetting his backup regular glasses in his car.
Mind you, this innocent dude wasn’t wearing the gadget to try to be a douche, but rather because he needed the thing to, you know, see what was going on around him. Also, he had the Google Glass system switched off, exactly to avoid any complications and unnecessary headaches.
Yet it apparently took a diligent team of “five to ten” police officers and Homeland Security (wait, what?) agents about three hours of interrogation to ultimately plug the gizmo to a computer, check the stored recorded footage and clear our poor “explorer” of all suspicion of guilt.
Never mind the pointless, showy law enforcement gathering (it still boggles me why they didn’t also call a SWAT crew as backup), or the fact the suspect’s wife was allegedly also held up while the “investigators” questioned her husband.
The bigger question is why in the heck did they make the bust in the first place? Well, according to AMC officials, it’s because “wearing a device that has the capability to record video is not appropriate at the movie theatre”. So I guess smartwatches should be embargoed too? How about if I get bored during the film and decide to update my Facebook status or something?
Does holding a smartphone directed at the screen count as a possible piracy attempt? Last question: do AMC and the Homeland Security intend to start frisking moviegoers for wearable gadgets from now on? Should we expect strip searches too? Cavity searches?
Tell you what, we’ll nip all attempts of piracy in the bud and, instead of going to cinemas to check out films, we’ll download them via The Pirate Bay from now on. Sounds fair?