Google mightn’t yet have expanded the beta Explorer program of its Glass project across the world just yet, but in an announcement outlining its intention to do broaden Glass’s horizons in the future, the search giant also confirmed its roll-out to folks in the United Kingdom.
With the Explorer Edition now officially on sale in the UK at a cost of £1,000, though, cinemas are stepping out to to ban moviegoers from wearing them while watching the latest box-office smash, for fear that they may record and subsequently pirate films.
Even though services like Netflix, Hulu and others have helped to counter movie piracy in recent years, it remains a rampant practice, and even now, folks will take a camera to a cinema, record a movie, and share it online. Even though the idea of watching a film featuring all of the coughing, laughter and rustling of popcorn that comes with going to the cinema is perhaps a little too authentic for most, people will still happily watch the latest blockbuster in this manner.
Taking a camera out and blatantly recording is a fairly obvious manner of pirating a movie, but most cinemas have steps in place to stamp out this kind of behavior. However, given the less conspicuous nature of filming on Glass – something that has already already been latched onto in popular culture – cinemas sense a real danger that Glass’s video-capturing abilities could be used to record unreleased movies, and given the apparent cost that the movie industry must bear as a result of piracy, it’s not surprising that UK cinemas have been so quick to the draw.
According to Phil Clapp, head of the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association, “Customers will be requested not to wear these into cinema auditoriums, whether the film is playing or not.” Odeon is requesting that users don’t wear Glass within the cinema auditorium, while Vue is currently imposing a similar ban.
The move to keep Glass out of cinemas isn’t particularly surprising, especially given that several Stateside companies are enforcing bans on head-mounted technology as well, and even though Google’s face computer can only record for 45 minutes at a time, cinemas are still very wary of this emerging technology.