One week after it became available in the UK, Google Glass has been banned from cinemas here. The Cinema Exhibitors’ Association, representing around 90% of UK cinema operators, said it was introducing the ban over privacy fears. The glasses come with an inbuilt camera for recording along with a small screen.
Phil Clapp, CEO of the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association said: ‘Customers will be requested not to wear these into cinema auditoriums, whether the film is playing or not.' Cinema chain Vue said it will ask customers to remove the glasses once the lights go down in theatres.
Similar action was taken in the US following the launch of the product there in 2013. The Drafthouse chain said it was banning Google Glass over piracy issues. The National Association of Theaters Owners (Nato) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) introduced rules banning all recording equipment.
A spokesperson for Google said in a statement: ‘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, said the company.
‘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.’