Google Glass Banned from Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, Should we really be Surprised?

June 10, 2014 - Written By Peter Holden

Google Glass might not be a mainstream consumer product just yet or even have a firm launch date, but that doesn’t stop it from frequently grabbing the headlines. From Glass wearers getting assaulted, to restaurants banning Google Glass being worn on the premises, being banned from wearing Glass while driving in various states and the UK’s Jamie Oliver using Google Glass to give a new approach to hands-on cooking , it seems that the hits just keep on coming. Today’s ‘hit’ comes in the form of yet another ban, courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, who have banned cinema goers from wearing the Glass eyewear once the trailers have begun showing.

The ban comes after an incident in Columbus, Ohio where a man wearing Google Glass with prescription lenses and his wife watching ‘Jack Ryan:Shadow Recruit’ were interrogated for three and a half hours by Homeland Security (movie theft cases fall under the purview of Homeland Security) before being released without charges being filed.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s CEO, Tim League told Deadline that the ban had been on the table for over a year, and that he had personally tried out Google Glass at some demonstrations held previously in Austin. The CEO went on to state that, “At that time, I recognized the potential piracy problem that they present for cinemas. I decided to put off a decision until we started seeing them in the theater, and that started happening this month.” It’s not all doom and gloom for Glass wearers though, the Alamo Drafthouse CEO left the door open with the following tweet in response to being asked if Google Glass would be allowed if  powered off:

Twitter   timalamo  . gay4soccer It will be case ...

Its important to remember that this isn’t just another case of Glass bashing, that the decision to ban Google Glass from being worn after the trailers begun to roll makes sense from an anti-piracy perspective. And whilst the camera on the Glass device isn’t capable of recording the film to any great quality, at least not the sort of quality that anyone would want to watch, someone, somewhere, in the deepest, darkest recesses of the internet would download it if it was available.

Everyone has an opinion on how to solve this problem. I’ve seen people say that Google should offer a version of the Glass device without a camera installed. But wouldn’t this strip much of the functionality out of the device? And surely it would be a better idea just to have a tiny built-in LED that would light up once the device was powered up or even just when the camera was recording? What are your thoughts? Personally, I’m of the opinion that once the trailers have begun to roll, all devices should be switched off, so that the only reason to become annoyed at the movies is the chap with half a homemade sloppy joe dribbling down his chin in the seat next to you.  Let us know in the comments below or at our Google Plus page.