Google Glass has been banned from Alamo Drafthouse movie theaters even before the release of the consumer version.
Google released the developer version of its futuristic wearable Google Glass in Feb. 2013, which bears a price tag of $1,500. However, customers are still waiting for Google to release the consumer version of the gadget, which was previously rumored for May 2014 and is now speculated to release in June this year.
Some segments of the market, such as the medical industry, have welcomed the Google Glass. However, the gadget has also been the subject of debates. A woman in California was ticketed as she was wearing Google Glass while driving. Similarly, in January this year, a movie goer was interrogated by officials of the Department of Homeland Security for wearing the gadget in a AMC movie theatre in Columbus, Ohio.
Now Alamo Drafthouse chain of cinema theaters has also imposed a ban on the Google gadget. Movie goers at Alamo Drafthouse will have to take off their Google Glasses when the lights dim and the trailers start.
Tim League, the CEO of Alamo Drafthouse, says that the company has been considering a ban on Google Glass for around a year. League says that he personally tried the Google Glass at demos in Austin. He realized the possible piracy problem Google Glass may pose for cinemas. However, he did not impose the ban until movie goers in Alamo Drafthouse were spotted wearing Google Glass.
"I realize that technology may change and this type of device may eventually become widely adopted and even replace traditional glasses," Tim League, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse, told Deadline. "Down the road our policies may have to morph. Given the technology that exists today, however, I decided that banning the device while movies are playing is the best decision for us right now."
Movie theft is considered a serious offence. Google Glass has an in-built camera that allows its user to record the entire or parts of a film shown in theaters. Alamo Drafthouse is not the only cinema chain in the U.S. that has banned the use of Google Glass at its locations. AMC, which operates in various locations including New York, Texas, Colorado, Virginia and more, has also barred visitors from using Google Glass at its venues.
Some market observers believe that wearing any gadget that has video-recording capabilities should not be used at cinema theaters.