Last week, Google officially expanded the Glass Explorer program beyond the United States’ borders, opening it up to residents of the United Kingdom who have £1,000 to spend. Unsurprisingly, business establishments throughout the UK have already started reacting to the new arrival, with cinemas already banning Google Glass.
According to the Independent, the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association has put rules banning Glass in place in order to prevent the already rampant piracy problem in the country from getting worse.
“Customers will be requested not to wear these into cinema auditoriums, whether the film is playing or not,” said Phil Clapp, the CEA’s chief executive.
The article adds that movie theaters aren’t the only places where Glass has earned a chilly reception. Hospitals will soon implement rules against wearing Glass to “protect patient privacy,” while Virgin Active gyms allow Glass to be worn but have rules against taking any photos or videos using the device.
None of these regulations are surprising, but the quickness with which they’re springing up is certainly worthy of note. Glass seems to have earned a reputation around the world despite being restricted to the United States up to this point. It’s telling when a new piece of technology engenders such a reaction in others—maybe computers and cameras strapped to people’s faces aren’t quite ready for mainstream acceptance.
Moreover, the expected ban in hospitals is an interesting twist in terms of where Glass might be expected. We’ve heard that doctors in California are experimenting with using Glass as a way to better serve patients, but we haven’t heard much about people bringing Glass with them to the ER as patients. Perhaps a similar ban will hit hospitals in the United States soon.
When Google opens the Explorer program to yet another territory, will the device encounter the same kind of immediate reaction in terms of being restricted in different locations? Or are these reactions unique to the US and the UK?