Google Glass Now Banned at Theaters

MPAA, theater owners' association ban wearable tech
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2014 9:02 AM CDT
Google Glass Now Banned at Theaters
Attendees wear Google Glass during the Google I/O 2014 keynote presentation in San Francisco on June 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

It's official: If you want to see a movie while it's still in the theaters, you'll have to take off your Google Glass or smartwatch first. The MPAA and the National Association of Theatre Owners yesterday banned all wearable tech, meaning you'll need to turn such devices off and put them away if you don't want to get kicked out. And—in a policy that already exists for phones and other recording devices—if theater staff thinks you're recording illegally, they'll notify police.

The new zero-tolerance policy was approved during the ShowEast convention, where theater owners gather each year, according to the Hollywood Reporter; the Washington Post reports that the association represents about 32,000 US theaters. But many individual theater owners had already instituted such a ban. Two potential problems:

  • The new rule "ignores something pretty crucial," writes Greg Kumparak on TechCrunch. "If someone is the type of person who will strap a computer to their face, they're probably also the type of person who knows of easier/better ways to pirate movies than recording a shaky, crap-resolution copy on Google Glass."
  • Plus, what happens when smart glasses become more popular and some people "choose to use the device as their primary eyewear"? wonders Chris Morran at the Consumerist. "At that point, do theaters kick people out just for wearing glasses that could shoot video?"
One theatergoer has already been hauled from his seat by the feds because he was wearing Google Glass. (More Google Glass stories.)

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