After incident in which a man was hauled out of a screening of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit for wearing Google Glass, US cinema chain AMC cracks down on usage
US cinema chain AMC has deemed that Google Glass, the eyewear that can record video and photography, is "not appropriate" for use in cinemas, following an incident in which homeland security officers interrogated a Glass wearer during a screening of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
Writing anonymously on The Gadgeteer blog, the man explained that halfway into the screening at an AMC in Columbus, Ohio, he was hauled out by police and officers from homeland security's ICE unit, which monitors piracy. "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'," said the man, who was taken into a room for interrogation. His Glass had been switched off during the movie, and he was wearing it for its prescription lenses.
"After a long time somebody came with a laptop and an USB cable at which point he told me it was my last chance to come clean. I repeated for the hundredth time there is nothing to come clean about and this is a big misunderstanding so the [ICE officer] finally connected my Glass to the computer, downloaded all my personal photos and started going though them one by one … Then they went through my phone, and five minutes later they concluded I had done nothing wrong." He wasn't apologised to, but was offered four free movie passes, which "infuriated" him.
The ICE's Khaalid Walls confirmed the incident took place, and AMC responded with a statement: "Movie theft is something we take very seriously, and our theatre managers contact the Motion Picture Association of America any time it's suspected that someone may be illegally recording content on screen. 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."
The Motion Picture Association of America, who is responsible for film ratings and safeguarding intellectual property, meanwhile said that: "Google Glass is an incredible innovation in the mobile sphere, and we have seen no proof that it is currently a significant threat that could result in content theft."
Google Glass is a new piece of hardware from the technology giant that resembles a pair of glasses, and features an inbuilt camera for recording your surroundings. It can also display information via the internet on a small screen next to the eye. Glass is not yet available to purchase, but is being rolled out to certain users and app developers via its Explorer program.
As well as potentially enhancing our culinary skills, cycling trips and sex lives, there have been concerns about its potential for surveillance – activist groups like Stop The Cyborgs have cropped up to monitor its potential for privacy invasion.
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