Google Glass, Is It Worth the Hassle?

Google Glass

While the exact launch date and retail price of Google Glass has not been released yet, according to Google’s chairman, Eric Schmidt the devices should be publicly available in 2014. What could possibly be wrong with harnessing the power of Google’s GPS and search engine in public?

For starters the beta testers officially known as Glass Explorers, unofficially known as “Glassholes” have not exactly been treated kindly. Like many impolite cellphone users, the derogatory term has been earned by those who constantly talk to and pay more attention to their high-tech eye wear than the real world. Because of the device’s recording ability, Google Glass users are not allowed in some restaurants and most, if not all, movie theaters.

A movie theater in Columbus, Ohio had federal agents remove a Glass wearing patron because they suspected him of recording the film. During the “voluntary interview” the man explained several times that the glasses were off and the only reason he wore them was because they had his prescription lenses. After extensive questioning and hooking up the glasses to an agent’s laptop, it was determined that the Google Glasses were not being used to illegally record the movie.

This is not the first instance of a Google Glass wearer to have a run in with the law. In October 2013, Cecilia Abadie was pulled over for speeding and was cited for “Driving with Monitor visible to Driver.” She posted her ticket on Google+ and sought the help of anyone willing to offer legal advice. Her case was dropped in January 2014 because the cited code required proof that the device was in use. Commissioner John Blair ruled that Abadie was not guilty since there was no proof beyond reasonable doubt. The speeding charges were dropped as well.

While these cases are extreme, they only represent a couple people out of the thousands who are using Google Glass without any legal hassles. As the high tech devices are gaining popularity, they are also getting a bad rap and not welcome in many establishments including casinos and gentleman’s clubs. Some restaurants are not permitting them either.

Seattle’s 5 Point Cafe prided itself on being the first restaurant to ban Google Glass in March of 2013. The Cafe’s owner Dave Meinert said that this policy was partially a joke to get a reaction on Facebook. On a serious note, the establishment does not let people film others or take unwanted photos of its patrons. Another Seattle restaurant, Lost Lake Cafe and Lounge, was the first to boot a customer who refused to remove his Google Glasses.

The tech savvy customers are not the victims since businesses are within their rights to set up their own rules and policies. Driving with this technology will become more restricted as Delaware and West Virginia have legislation in the works to ban drivers from using Google Glass. While the high-tech glasses are promising, they are becoming more and more limited and they hasn’t even been publicly released yet. With the stigma surrounding them and legal horror stories, it makes one wonder if Google Glass is worth the hassle.

By: Cheryl Gress

USA Today

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