Google Glass is in the news for the right, as well as the wrong reasons. Recently, an Explorer (Google Glass user) was in the news for getting cited for traffic violation (a citation which she managed to get thrown out). And now, here's another "I'm-wearing-Google-Glass-but-not using-it" user, a man from Ohio who decided to watch the spy thriller "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" at a theater but later found out that wearing his Glass will give him a bigger thrill on Saturday night.
The story was first reported by tech geek writer Julie Strietelmeier for the The Gadgeteer. She received information from a long-time reader of the blog about the man from Columbus who was grabbed out of the AMC Theater while watching the 7:45 p.m. screening of "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" at the Easton Town Center. When the story first rolled out, it was thought that agents of the FBI interrogated the subject who was accused of illegally recording the movie he is watching. It was later updated to accurately state that it was the people from the Department of Homeland Security that seized the man.
According to the Google Glass Explorer, he's a regular at the theater and been going there with his Google Glass for sometime. He also clarified that he always turns off the device when watching movies since he has integrated prescription lenses with it. In the latest incident, however, about an hour into the film, several cops sat next to him, yanked the Glass off his face and escorted him out of the movie theater.
"I kept telling them that I wasn't recording anything - my Glass was off, they insisted they saw it on. I told them there would be a light coming out the little screen if Glass was on, and I could show them that, but they insisted that I cannot touch my Glass for the fear 'I will erase the evidence against me that was on Glass'. ... Then they wanted to know what does Google ask of me in exchange for Glass, how much is Google paying me, who is my boss and why am I recording the movie," recalled the Google Glass Explorer.
"Eventually, 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. ...so the FBI guy finally connected my Glass to the computer, downloaded all my personal photos and started going through them one by one (although they are dated and it was obvious there was nothing on my Glass that was from the time period they accused me of recording). Then they went through my phone, and 5 minutes later they concluded I had done nothing wrong," he continued.
The law enforcers were able to see photos of the man's wife and a dog.
The Columbus Dispatch was able to secure a statement from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security and forwarded it to The Gadgeteer.
"On Jan. 18, special agents with ICE's Homeland Security Investigations and local authorities briefly interviewed a man suspected of using an electronic recording device to record a film at an AMC theater in Columbus. The man, who voluntarily answered questions, confirmed to authorities that the suspected recording device was also a pair of prescription eye glasses in which the recording function had been inactive. No further action was taken," wrote ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls.
A spokesman of the theater shared that a team from the Motion Picture Association was at the location when the incident happened. An MPAA representative requested ICE to check if the Google Glass Explorer was recording the movie.
"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 theater," said AMC spokesperson Ryan Noonan.
The Google Glass might be too big a wearable device not to be noticed in public but when smart contact lenses go beyond checking one's blood sugar level, users might have to pray that authorities will not gouge them off their eyes while enjoying a movie.