AS THE DRAMA surrounding the case of the woman arrested for wearing Google Glass behind the wheel of her car finally dies down, the law has once again proved it's an ass.
In California yesterday, the same state where Cecilia Abadie was ticketed for driving while wearing Google Glass, a court ruled in favour of a man who was caught checking his phone satnav while driving, holding the device in his hand.
In the Abadie case, the judge ruled that there was no proof that she had the Glass device turned on at the time of the incident, but had there been, the judge made it clear that she would have been convicted.
In this case, however, there was clear evidence that Steven Spriggs was using his mobile phone behind the wheel when he was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol.
The officer issued a citation for using a mobile behind the wheel, for "listening" and "talking" as stated in the law, but on appeal he was able to prove that as he was using the satnav function, so he was neither listening nor talking, but reading and therefore was outside the law.
Although the rules do theoretically prohibit Mr Spriggs' actions, the wording of the act allowed lawyers to show that it did not apply to him and establish that it is legal to use a handheld GPS device while driving.
And so, at least for the moment, California believes that it is acceptable to hold something in your hand and refer to it whilst driving, but not to have a head-mounted monitor leaving your hands free to concentrate on the road.
As far as wearables go, the US justice system apparently still has a long way to go. µ
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