Through the looking glass

I got my Glass last week, a clever piece of equipment that, after a few days of use, I feel has a place in our future. It's not ready yet, but it's well on the way.

It's part of the new wave of wearable technology that includes the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch, the Narrative Clip, Fitbit, Jawbone and Misfit fitness trackers, the Basis band, the autographer, etc. etc. SmartPhones, after a good 10 years as the Champion of consumer technology are starting their slide into obscurity. Wearables are the new kid on the block...

What I'd like to focus on here though is the knee jerk reaction that I'm seeing in the media. Specifically over the recording capability, a very small part of the overall functionality of the device.

Recently Phil Clapp, CEO of the Cinema Exhibitors Association has suggested that all UK Cinemas ban Google Glass, yet phones are allowed in and can be used up to the point the film starts, when I tweeted him on the subject he said:

"For us the difference is that you'd be spotted with your phone pointed at the screen - wearable tech is more difficult to detect"

But I dispute that, and heres my reasoning...

Firstly a demonstration

So that was me recording full HD 1080p video with my iPhone, I simply turned down the brightness, popped it in a pocket, and it's virtually impossible to detect in a dark cinema... and alongside it I'm recording a 720p video with glass, as you can see the screen lights up like a torch, and it's very easy to spot!

Now let's look at the specs

The battery on my Glass only lasts 40 minutes while recording video, so I can record less than half a film, and if I so much as look anywhere other than straight forward I'll mess up the recording... time for a very sore neck...

The iPhone records video at twice the quality of Glass and allows an external microphone to be attached, which allows studio quality stereo sound as opposed to the poor quality of Glass's built in mono microphone...

An iPhone 5s can be purchased for around £300 - £400, Glass will set you back £1000

Glass will also only work if you tie it to your user account, so not the best way to go about a career as a criminal!

So in summary, Glass is more expensive, won't record a whole film, is lower quality, and is easier to detect than an iPhone... why on earth would any pirate choose it!

Yet the CEA still recommends that glass be banned from all UK Cinemas, and the iPhone is freely allowed in and to be used, until the film starts...


In an alternate future, the CEA would be encouraging the use of wearables in the cinema, engaging with new technologies to create immersive experiences where information pops up in front of you about the cinemas offerings and discount deals, without disturbing others, they'd be ushering in a new era of interactive cinema, and proactively campaigning for a better experience for the customer. 

Something that is already starting to emerge with apps such as Cineme (on that favourite device of pirates, the smartphone)

This is a great example of a knee jerk reaction to the unknown, I really wish organisations would research these technologies before rolling out blanket recommendations or policies :(

I also have a Narrative Clip, a Jawbone up, and a Pebble, are these to be banned, will the CEA isolate every piece of technology that is improving our lives? Actually, my only concern upon writing this post, is that they'll just ban phones!