New Trouble Spot for Google Glass: Movie Theaters

You may now add movie theaters to the list of places where Google Glass can get you into trouble, along with bars, casinos and strip clubs.

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You may now add movie theaters to the list of places where Google Glass can get you into trouble, along with bars, casinos and strip clubs.

The Gadgeteer has the story of a Glass user in Columbus, Ohio who brought his high-tech glasses into an AMC movie theater.

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.”

The agents in question were from the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, which deals with violations of  intellectual property rights. The Glass user claims that he was held for two hours, and eventually let go after agents plugged the device into a computer and scanned its contents.

DHS confirmed its involvement to the Columbus Dispatch, and acknowledged that the user had done nothing wrong, but wouldn’t say how for how long he’d been interviewed.

Business Insider confirmed the story with AMC, which explained that the Motion Picture Association of America was on site during the investigation and had contacted Homeland Security. “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 theatre,” AMC said in a statement.

The situation was especially troublesome for this user since he’d somehow managed to attach his prescription lenses to the frame. He’s not allowed in the theater with his glasses on, but he can’t see the movie without them. Google doesn’t officially support prescriptions yet, but promises to do so. Unless Google comes up with a way for prescription users to detach their glasses from the camera and computing elements, incidents like this will continue to come up.

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