Google Glass banned from U.S. movie theaters over piracy concerns – What about prescription lenses?

By Alexandra Burlacu | Jun 11, 2014 07:52 AM EDT

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If you've been thinking about taking your Google Glass to the movies, think again - the Alamo Drafthouse theater chain has just banned the eyewear from its theaters.

More specifically, Alamo Drafthouse has banned the active use of Google Glass during screenings over piracy concerns. The movie theater chain fears that Google Glass users may illegally record movies with the eyewear and finds it safer to ban it altogether.

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"Google Glass is officially banned from @drafthouse auditoriums once lights dim for trailers," Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League announced in a tweet.

Google Glass, however, is not just a futuristic eyewear, it also comes with prescription lenses for those who need them. Asked about the company's position in such instances, League reckoned that users may 'likely' be able to wear Google Glass during a film as long as the device is not active.

"It will be case by case, but if it is clear when they are on, clear when they are off, will likely be OK," League clarified in subsequent tweet.

In other words, those wearing Google Glass with prescription lenses will need express permission from the theater to wear the device during a movie. The same rule will likely not apply to those who don't actually need Google Glass to see, even if the device is turned off.

It's worth pointing out, however, that the current version of Google Glass doesn't have a recording light, which makes it difficult to determine when someone is using the device to record or for something else. In a dark movie theater it should be quite easy to see when a device is on or off based on the gadget's display, but even so, movie theater staff should be familiar with Google Glass.

This decision to ban active use of Google Glass in movie theaters was a long time coming, and Alamo Drafthouse had been considering it for over a year.

"Google Glass did some early demos here in Austin, and I tried them out personally," League told Deadline in an interview. "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."

Alamo Drafthouse is based in Texas, but has roughly two dozen theater locations across the U.S. Active use of Google Glass will be banned at all its locations, as will talking and texting during screenings.



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