While bars commonly have all sorts of glasses on hand--highball, pilsner, martini, and so on--there's one kind of glass the 5 Point Bar in Seattle will not abide, and that's the Google variety. Late last week, the 5 Point Bar posted to its Facebook (News - Alert) page that it would be the "first Seattle business to ban in advance Google Glasses." What's more, those who did wear Google Glass into the 5 Point Bar would face the possibility of some fairly stiff penalties.
The 5 Point Bar's Facebook ultimatum went on to declare that those patrons found wearing Google (News - Alert) Glass units within the 5 Point Bar's purview would be subject to the potential for violence, with the page citing that foot-based violence delivered against a certain point of anatomy "...will be encouraged for violators." To a reasonable person, this might seem a bit of an overreaction, so GeekWire talked to 5 Point Bar owner Dave Meinert, who elaborated that the issue was one of the bar's culture. Meinert said in response that the 5 Point Bar is regarded as something of a "seedy" and "maybe notorious place," and the Google Glass' always-on, forward-facing video camera, which is necessary to generate all those great augmented reality features seen on it in the first place, represents a major threat to the privacy of patrons.
Response to the 5 Point Bar's ultimatum has been somewhat mixed, with some coming out in favor of the ban--one response suggested that Google Glass was approximately the same as "...someone recording with their cell phone or digital camera in your face"--while others came out against it, with one response referring to the ban as "unbelievably ignorant."
There's little doubt, of course, that Google Glass is going to have some problems with privacy. That camera, sitting unobtrusively in the frame of the device, might well pick up some things that people would rather not be picked up, and telling when the glasses are recording and when they aren't won't be easy either. Certainly, the thought of large numbers of people voluntarily wearing recording devices on their faces won't be a comforting one to many, and actually controlling who's photographing when will likely be even tougher.
This leaves Google in something of an odd spot. While Google Glass is clearly showing itself to be a welcome and popular piece of technology that's got plenty of interested users behind it--sufficiently so, in fact, that an eBay auction boasting one of the devices went clear to $15,500 before the auction vanished under mysterious circumstances--the device is likely to have plenty of potential consumers arrayed against it. Concerns of privacy around the device won't be limited to the 5 Point Bar, and while the encouraged violent reprisals against those wearing the devices may never come to pass, the opposition certainly will remain.
Edited by Brooke Neuman
Wearable Tech World Home