Google Glass Banned From UK Cinemas

Google Glass has been banned in UK cinemas due to piracy fears just a week after the wearable device went on sale in the UK.

Google Glass has been banned in UK cinemas due to piracy fears just a week after the wearable device went on sale in the UK.

The Cinema Exhibitors' Association, which represents 90 percent of cinemas in the UK, said customers would be asked to remove the device before entering its movie theatres.

Phil Clapp, chief executive of the Cinema Exhibitors' Association, said: "Customers will be requested not to wear these into cinema auditoriums, whether the film is playing or not."

Meanwhile, the Vue cinema group said it would ask viewers to remove the eyewear "as soon as the lights dim".

In theory it would be possible for cinema staff to monitor when the device is being used to take videos because a small red light appears on the spectacles. It's also unlikely the user would be able to capture a full film on Glass as the device can currently only record continuously for up to 45 minutes before the batteries run out.

The internet giant's augmented reality headset was made available in the UK last week at £1,000 to anyone over 18-years-old, though Google says the device is still technically a prototype. It was first released in the US two years ago, where it is priced at $1,500 (£874).

Glass puts the sort of information and applications one might expect to receive on their smartphone into a small screen above the user's right eye but it has been criticised by early adopters for being too difficult to use.

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."

Privacy campaigners have also expressed concerns that the device could be used to film people unwillingly.

Elsewhere, the UK government said the device could be banned on the nation's roads because it will be a dangerous distraction for drivers.

This story, "Google Glass Banned From UK Cinemas" was originally published by Techworld.com.

To comment on this article and other CIO content, visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Download the CIO October 2016 Digital Magazine
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.