Just in case one moviegoer’s interrogation by Homeland Security didn’t send a clear enough message, the movie industry is officially banning Google Glass and similar wearable devices from theaters.
According to Variety, the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theater Owners (the other NATO) have updated their joint policy, making it clear that wearables must be turned off and put away during showtime. The two lobbying groups announced the new policy at an industry event in Florida.
In a joint statement, the groups claimed to have “a long history of welcoming technological advances,” but said they maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any potential recording devices in the theater. “Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away may be asked to leave,” the groups said. “If theater managers have indications that illegal recording activity is taking place, they will alert law enforcement authorities when appropriate, who will determine what further action should be taken.”
Earlier this year, a Google Glass user in Ohio experienced this enforcement first-hand when he was detained for wearing his glasses inside the theater. The theater consulted the MPAA, which called in Homeland Security for an investigation. The man had left his Glasses on because his prescription lenses were attached to the frame, but he wasn’t recording anything and was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Why this matters: Google Glass has already been deemed unwelcome in other places, including some bars, casinos, and strip clubs. While the rules make sense given the ease of recording video with Glass, they pose a dilemma for people who are people who are using Glass with prescription frames. Nearsighted filmgoers will just have to plan ahead, and bring along a dumber pair of specs.