Google Glass, the connected eyewear by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), has been well received by many a gadget enthusiast with $1,500 (or £1,000) to spare, but it's best not to wear them to go see "Transformers."
Two of the biggest theater chains in the U.S. have banned the use of Glass, which can record a small amount of video. Essentially they're treating them as recording devices, enabling potential reproduction and illegal re-sale.
“We don’t allow any wearable technology that is pointed at the screen and is able to record in theaters,” AMC Theaters told International Business Times in a statement. “While we're huge fans of technology and innovation, wearing a device that has the capability to record video is not appropriate at the movie theater.”
"No recording devices (cameras, video recorders, sound recorders, etc.) are permitted to be used within any Regal Entertainment Group facility," a regal spokesperson told NBC News in April in response to whether Google Glass was permitted in movie theaters.
Now that Google Glass is available for sale in the U.K., theaters across the pond are banning them as well. Many theaters have their own rules – some request that guests put their Google Glass away once the theater lights dim, while others forbid Google Glass from being worn in the facility -- but the consensus is that they are aiming to prevent the illegal copying of feature films.
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Though Glass can't record an entire film due to its low internal storage capacity and the fact that it can continuously record for only about 45 minutes, many theaters note that it is possible for pirates to overlay video and audio from different Google Glass handsets into one continuous stream.
Google is in full cooperation with movie theaters and has stated that theater chains are within their rights to treat Glass like they would mobile phones -- and ask patrons to put Glass away before a movie begins – but the Mountain View, California, company also notes that the act of recording with Glass is far from discrete.
“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,” a Google spokesperson told the Independent.
A number of businesses and government entities have established a strong opposition against Google Glass since Google launched its Glass Explorer beta program in the U.S. in April 2013. Several states including Illinois, Delaware, New Jersey and West Virginia have introduced bills aimed at preventing drivers from using Glass while on the road. In addition, many adult entertainment venues and casinos have banned patrons from using Google Glass on premises.
Other places where Google Glass is banned include some banks, bars, sports arenas and concert venues, as well as locker rooms and dressing rooms, hospitals and classrooms.