AUGMENTED REALITY EYEWEAR Google Glass might have arrived in the country just last week, but it has already been banned in UK cinemas.
Google Glass arrived in the UK last week priced at £1,000, and cinema officials in Britain have been quick to announce that the expensive eyewear will not be welcome in theatres, citing fears that the glasses could be used to make 'pirated' copies of movies. What they perhaps don't realise, however, is that Glass is limited to recording just 45 minutes of video before its battery life runs out.
Phil Clapp, chief executive of the Cinema Exhibitors' Association UK, told The Independent, "Customers will be requested not to wear these into cinema auditoriums, whether the film is playing or not," with the Vue cinema chain adding that it will ask filmgoers to remove the eyewear "as soon as the lights dim".
As reported by the Independent, one early Google Glass adopter has already been asked to remove his goggles in a cinema in London's Leicester Square, with staff saying they could not monitor whether it was recording. This follows a similar incident in the US, although it's perhaps not quite as dramatic.
Google said that while it's not happy about cinemas banning Glass altogether, cinemas should treat the eyewear as they do mobile phones.
A Google spokesperson said, "We recommend any cinemas concerned about Glass to treat the device as they treat similar devices like mobile phones: simply ask wearers to turn it off before the film starts. Broadly speaking, we also think it's best to have direct and first-hand experience with Glass before creating policies around it.
"The fact that Glass is worn above the eyes and the screen lights up whenever it's activated makes it a fairly lousy device for recording things secretly."
The Independent's report added that Glass likely will face a ban in UK hospitals too, but this has yet to be confirmed. It also said that the Transport Department has asked Google to find a way that drivers can use Glass legally. µ