In a PR move, a Washington dive bar has become the first establishment to ban Google’s Glass, citing privacy concerns for patrons, ahead of the launch of the augmented reality eyewear later this year.
The 5 Point, a Seattle bar, posted a notice on its Facebook page last week that if someone wants to get a pint from its rather secretive establishment, they’ll have to remove the $1,500 glasses.
“For the record, The 5 Point is the first Seattle business to ban in advance Google Glasses,” the post reads. “And ass-kickings will be encouraged for violators.”
“I’m a thought leader,” Dave Meinert, the bar’s owner, told KIRO-FM. “First you have to understand the culture of the 5 Point, which is a sometimes seedy, maybe notorious place. People want to go there and be not known…and definitely don’t want to be secretly filmed or videotaped and immediately put on the Internet.”
He admits that patrons of his establishment – a “seedy” and “notorious” place, Meinert describes — are of a particular type and notoriety that make them far less enthusiastic about being surreptitiously photographed or videoed.
The location of The 5 Point Cafe is near the new Amazon campus in Seattle, Washington, hence the preemptive strike before Google Glass becomes widely available to the tech community.
Meinert admitted the original post was a bit of a joke, but still doesn’t want video or photos of his customers being uploaded to the Internet using the glasses. However, anyone with a smartphone could accomplish the same feat.
The move, although largely a PR stunt for the bar, does pose a number of questions about how Google Glass, which is set to go on sale this year, will be received by the general public. Privacy is always a concern, and there will most likely be more bans of Google Glass by certain businesses. Some businesses that come to mind include cinemas, bars, and clubs.
However, the Glasses could also be welcomed as a sales tool in some places. Hypothetically, retail establishments that wish to provide advanced interactivity with customers wearing Google Glass could end up encouraging use of the product while browsing through a store.
Speaking to technology news site CNET, a Google spokesperson said: “It is still very early days for Glass, and we expect that as with other new technologies, such as cell phones, behaviours and social norms will develop over time.”
Go to the 5 point Facebook post here