In an effort to cut down on the illegal recording of movies inside of movie theaters, a ban has been issued against Google Glass. The National Association of Theater Owners as well as The Motion Picture Association of America have chosen to ban not only Google Glass but all other wearable devices. There will be a zero-tolerance policy in effect that will have moviegoers not only shutting down their wearable devices, but actually putting them away for the entire duration of the movie. In an effort to keep the staff at the movie theaters vigilant, there is even an incentive of $500 if they catch anyone illegally recording.
This is not the first ban to occur in conjunction with Google Glass. The wearable technology has also been banned in Las Vegas casinos, within some bars and in a small number of movie theaters previously. The reason for the ban seems to lie with the fact that the technology is actually more subtle than what is found with smartphones and cameras.
Google Glass is essentially smart eyewear that has a limited battery life but can allow the wearer to perform a number of technological functions. This wearable technology is similar to a smartphone but is hands-free and is more similar to a computer. The eyewear can be used to perform searches, send messages and take pictures and videos. It is this ability to take videos that has inspired the ban. Both the MPAA and NATO are prohibiting the usage of Google Glass in movie theaters in an effort to ban people from recording movies and violating movie privacy.
The new policy reads that all phones must be turned to silent and any wearable devices must be shut down and stowed away. If an individual refuses to follow these rules, they can be asked to leave the movie theaters by management. If any of the management at the theater believes an individual has been illegally recording, law enforcement officials will be notified and any further action will be determined by the police.
The vice president of the MPAA, Kate Bedingfield, says that while these policies are just a guideline of rules that the theaters should be enforcing, it is up to each individual movie theater to determine how they will go about enforcing those rules. For all theaters, the rule is no wearable devices at all and anything that can record the movie must be put away. Beyond that, it is up to the discretion of management as to how the rules are enforced.
Although the movie theaters are choosing to issue a ban against Google Glass, it may not be that easy to enforce. As technology continues to progress, there will still be other wearable tech pieces developed and it will be difficult to continually police each new invention. With no exceptions to this ban, even people who have prescription lenses in their Google Glass will have to remove them before they can sit down in a theater to watch a movie. While the ban may seem like a logical step for movie theaters to take, enforcing the ban may still prove to be a difficult endeavor.
By Kimberley Spinney
Photo by Sarah_Ackerman – Flickr License