Google Glass banned from movie theaters

June 19, 2014

Where there’s new technology, there’s always a way to misuse that technology. Case in point: Google Glass could be used to secretly record movies in movie theaters. Therefore, as a precaution against piracy, Drafthouse Cinemas has banned Google Glass from its theaters.

With Google Glass in particular, it seems there are many options for those who would like to use it for less-than-stellar purposes. Basically a smart phone you wear like a pair of glasses, Google Glass can take pictures and video, put you on the Internet, and connect you with friends and family by phone and text. If you think about it, as the author of this article did, some of its more benign potential misuses include ignoring people you’re supposed to be spending time with and recording people in public without their permission.

Google Glass

Movie theaters are one of several spaces to ban Google Glass. From Timothy Vollmer.

Darker scenarios have wearers using Google Glass to cheat on college exams, bully their peers, stalk dates, and surreptitiously record X-rated activities.

Of course, Google Glass creators didn’t have any of those uses in mind when they made the product. Better the technology should be used on these more positive pursuits: improving your workout routine, getting a clue when you can’t remember people’s names, finding your way to anyplace you want to go, and getting instructions on how to do pretty much anything. All without holding or looking down at a phone. The hands-free application is already proving useful to professionals, including doctors and oilfield workers.

Still, it’s always important to try and guess how users of new technology might misuse it next — as Drafthouse Cinemas did when the decision was made to ban Google Glass from its theaters.

The company may lead a charge against Google Glass specifically, but they’re not the first theater to ban sneaky recordings. Most movie theaters already ban recording devices, and Google Glass fits under that heading. The technology is also banned in many other settings. Las Vegas casinos don’t allow it inside. Some U.S. bars, restaurants, and strip clubs won’t allow it. And a ban on using Google Glass while driving makes sense if it can be determined how distracting that might be — and how it can be monitored.

In many ways Google Glass can make life simpler. With the Internet practically connected to one’s brain, there’s no lack of information at hand for any given situation. But there’s no denying new technology contributes to a complicated web of thought about how we ought to live.

Tags: , ,

Category: Technology

; ;