Google Glass was one of the first pieces of wearable technology to break into the mainstream. When it was announced, it was not only the tech world that was awed, but the general public as well. Now we are seeing Glass being used in cases that weren’t envisioned when it was just released. The bad news is, there were also some bizarre, unforeseen consequence of the tech as well.
From physical and verbal assaults, a shower selfie and even an interrogation session courtesy of the Department of Homeland security, Glass users are getting into all sorts of dangerous, weird and/or strange situations due to the wearable. Check out some of the more bizarre cases unsuspecting Google Glass readers found themselves in.
Recommended Reading: Everything You Need To Know About Google Glass
1. Attacked At Bar
Probably one of the most infamous incidents relating to Google Glass was the one where Sarah Slocum, was asked to remove her Glass while in a San Francisco Bar. The other patrons there had repeatedly told her to remove the wearable device, as they did not want to be recorded with the device. Eventually, one of the patrons took matters into their own hands and grabbed the Glass off her face. Though she managed to get that back, her purse and cellphone were stolen during this incident.
2. Assaulted In A Grab-And-Run
As Business Insider writer Kyle Russell was heading home after covering a protest against a Google employee, a man went up to him and grabbed his Glass. While in pursuit, the thief smashed the Glass on to the ground, destroying them. The incident may or may not be related to the protest but after Russell tweeted about it, a barrage of anti-glass and anti-Google replies came in, saying that he deserved it. Guess people didn’t like the idea of camera-weilding glasses.
(Image Source: Business Insider)
3. Received Ticket For Driving With Glass
A Californian woman by the name of Cecilia Abadie received a ticket for wearing Glass while driving. She was charged for wearing the device as it was deemed to be a form of distraction from her driving. The good news is that the ticket was ultimately dismissed, as there wasn’t enough evidence to prove if the device was used or even turned on when she committed "the crime".
(Image Source: +CeciliaAbadie)
4. Glass Users Retaliate With Bad Reviews
Katy Kasmai, was asked to remove her Glass while in a New York restaurant, as some of the other patrons felt uncomfortable at the idea of potentially being recorded. She refused and left, posting about the incident on her Google+ page. The post received a lot of attention from other Glass users, some of which pummeled the establishment with bad reviews related to that one incident. Kasmai however felt that she owed the restaurant an apology for how things turned out, and offered to teach the restaurant how Google Glass works.
(Image Source: Ev Grieve)
5. Cinema-Goer Interrogated By Feds
A Glass-wearing AMC cinema patron was escorted out and interrogated by agents from the Department of Homeland Security for 3 hours, as they suspected that he was secretly recording the movie for piracy purposes. The Glass user was cooperative during the interrogation, explaining that it was turned off, and that he needed them to see (the Glass he was wearing was the prescription version). The man was released, and as compensation was given 4 free tickets for his troubles.
6. Artist Kick Glass Users Off WiFi
After reading about a complaint from an NYU student who was afraid that art performances could be recorded with Google Glass, Berlin-based artist Julian Oliver created a program called Glasshole.sh. It will allow a WiFi hotspot to detect any Glasses that are connected to the network and boot them out. Of course, this won’t stop them from using their own wireless connection but at the very least, it makes it just a tad bit more difficult for Glass users who don’t get the "You Are Not Welcome Here" atmosphere in the room.
7. "Have Glass, Will Shower"
Tech evangelist Robert Scoble is a big fan of Google Glass (although he thinks it is doomed to fail in 2014 because of the price) and swore that he would never take them off. Well you better believe him, because he took a shower with his Glass on, then proceeded to share the picture on his Google+ page. The picture is now infamous. Even Larry Page, the CEO of Google knew about it, and had joked with Scoble saying that he “really didn’t appreciate the shower photo.”
(Image Source: +Scobleizer)
8. Glass Banned Before Arrival
Google recently opened up its Explorer program to the general public. The project is still considered in its testing phase and opening up the program is still not considered a consumer release. Yet that didn’t stop some business owners to preemptively ban Google Glass from their premises, fearing the camera could be used to discreetly record video. The ban is in effect in small restaurants and even in large cinema chains, all in the name of protecting privacy and preventing movie piracy.
9. Assaulted For Using Wearable Tech
Perhaps the problem isn’t Google Glass, perhaps it stems all the way back to wearable tech itself. Steve Mann, inventor of EyeTap, a precursor to Google Glass, is widely considered to be the father of wearable computing. While at a McDonald’s in Paris, he was assaulted by a man who tried to yank EyeTap off him. The problem was the device were attached to his skull. Despite efforts to explain how the device work, Mann was forcibly removed from the restaurant and his EyeTap damaged during the ordeal.
(Image Source: Steve Mann’s Blog)
These are just some of the bizarre situations that Glass users find themselves in, through no fault of their own, apart from wearing the device. The risk of being assaulted for having the device on them is real and present, and Google Glass users can no longer expect to wear Glass and not attract attention or animosity wherever they go.
Google has even come up with their own Do’s and Dont’s for Glass Explorers, which include tips like Asking for Permission to use Glass in public and premises, and to treat Google Glass like they would a cellphone camera. With the amount of attention Glass is getting, we’d probably be seeing more bizarre stories appear in the future.