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Google Glass is banned in Seattle bar months before launch

5 Point Cafe bans the augmented reality spectacles to preserve privacy
Mon Mar 11 2013, 11:24

THE AUGMENTED REALITY Google Glass eyewear isn't even available yet, but already a bar in Seattle has banned customers from using the futuristic headset due to privacy concerns.

The 5 Point Café in Cedar Street, which is referred to as a "dive bar", claims to be the first Seattle business to ban Google Glasses in advance via a post on Facebook, which said "ass kickings will be encouraged for violators".

The post has gained over 400 likes and 150 comments so far, most of which chastise the 5 Point Cafe for its decision and assert that it cannot ban Google Glass without banning smartphones as well, as they too have video capabilities.

One commenter, Nathan Buth made his feelings clear by posting that the action is futile.

"You state that you are banning them for privacy reasons, correct? Well I can say unless you plan on banning every single other device that exists and has a camera then banning Glass would be completely pointless," he said.

It's hard to find anyone among the raft of commenters that agrees with the bar's decision. One, Andrew Barker claims the bar's post is all about publicity.

Sergey Brin Google Glass

"I love the irony of the fact that you guys posted privacy concerns on Facebook. The irony here is unparalleled. Admit it. You did this for the attention," he said.

But there were a few Facebook members that agreed with 5 Point that Google Glass could cause privacy concerns.

One commenter, named Shannara said, "Actually, it makes sense. You go ahead and walk into a bar right now with a camcorder [and] any reputable bar will kick your arse, with good reason."

The 5 Point Café responded to angry commenters, arguing that the original post was "mostly humorous" and telling them to "get a sense of humour".

"Second, we don't allow any photographer or videotaping in the 5 Point without our permission and will kick someone out for doing so if we catch them," the bar said. "Third, no we aren't worried about losing Google Glass wearing rich peoples' business. At all."

In an interview with KIRO Radio, the bar's owner, Dave Meinert explained that "the 5 Point appeals to a wide variety of people" and that some of the tech geeks visit the bar because it's close to Amazon's head quarters. "It's okay if you wear them. I just don't want them worn inside," he said.

Meinert added that part of the post was a joke "to be funny on Facebook and get a reaction", but part of it was serious because the bar doesn't let people film other people or "take photos unwanted of other people in the bar because it's kind of a private place people go".

Google responded to our request for comment. A spokesperson said, "It is still very early days for Glass, and we expect that as with other new technologies, such as cell phones, behaviors and social norms will develop over time." µ


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