Google Glass was finally made available in the UK last week. Early adopters, or “explorers” to Google, will have to fork out £1,000 for the privilege of looking like a bit of a prat.
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Predictably, the accompanying panic over privacy – that has already seen Google Glass banned in a number of bars in downtown San Francisco – has also swept across the Atlantic, with the news that the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association has taken the decision to ban Google Glass from all cinemas because it is worried that the devices could be used to pirate films. Most pirated films sold come from recordings made in cinemas, by the way.
CEA chief exec Phil Clapp told the Independent that customers would be requested “not to wear” Glass into cinemas, “whether the film is playing or not”.
The Vue cinema chain added that it would instruct patrons to remove Glass “as soon as the lights dim”. Others are expected to follow suit.
But are the cinema owners making a lot of fuss over something that probably isn’t that big of a deal?
A Google spokesperson spoke up in support of the glassy gizmo, saying the fact that its screen lights up like a Christmas tree when it is activated makes it a “fairly lousy” device for secretly recording movies.
That’s a Google spokesperson. Calling their device functionality “lousy”. On record. Teehee.
Anyway, it looks like it’d be fair to say that in this case, if the person sat next to you was set on piracy you’d probably know about it pretty quickly.
The other thing about Google Glass is that it can’t record for longer than 45 minutes.
Now, with current blockbusters such as Captain America: the Winter Soldier clocking in at a bottom-numbing 136 minutes, we estimate that the Google Glass-wearing pirate would need to fork out £3,000 on equipment before he or she even got into the auditorium, and that’s before the obscene mark up on popcorn, nachos, a bucket of cola and an actual ticket.
Look, it’s not like movie piracy isn’t a problem, and it’s true that pirates are coming up with ever more creative ways to illegally record from cinema screens without detection, which we won’t go into here because you might get ideas.
Moreover, just as we can all definitely agree that people who use smartphones in crowded cinemas should be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, so there can surely be no argument that Google Glass is just another anti-social device that should be banned in cinemas.
But in light of Google Glass’ technical limitations, concerns over piracy seem a tad misplaced, don’t they?
Well, I guess it’s not as if the movie industry has ever bothered to let logic stand in the way of a good old moral panic.