Ohio man wears Google Glass to spy movie, gets pulled out of theater by feds

By Travis Gettys
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 14:51 EDT
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Google glass via AFP
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An Ohio man claims law enforcement officers questioned him after wearing Google Glass Explorer into a movie theater.

The man, who asked to remain anonymous, sent an email about the incident to The Gadgeteer, explaining that he had gone with his wife Saturday to see “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” at an AMC theater in Columbus.

About an hour into the movie, the man said, a federal agent came in, snatched the computer device from his face and escorted him out of the theater.

“They were having known issues on that theatre, and they had suspicions there would be attempts to pirate that particular movie,” the man told Phandroid in a follow-up email.

The device is designed to record shorter video clips without audio, and lack the storage capacity for longer video recordings.

“They wanted to know who I am, where I live, where I work, how much I’m making, how many computers I have at home, why am I recording the movie, who am I going to give the recording to, why don’t I just give up the guy up the chain, ’cause they are not interested in me. Over and over and over again,” the man said.

The man said five to 10 agents questioned him for more than three hours, although he wasn’t not sure which agency they represented.

“I didn’t get the contact information for the officers,” he said. “I was too shaken to remember the names, and I didn’t ask for business cards. The IDs they showed me looked legit – but what do I know?”

Officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed on Tuesday that Homeland Security officers, who investigate counterfeit goods cases, were sent to question the man but determined that he’d done nothing wrong.

“The man, who voluntarily answered questions, confirmed to authorities that the suspected recording device was also a pair of prescription eye glasses in which the recording function had been inactive,” officials said in a statement to Phandroid. “No further action was taken.”

Calls by various media outlets seeking comment from the movie theater at Easton Mall have not been returned.

The man said his Google Glass were fitted with prescription lenses and were powered off, and he was eventually allowed to leave.

“After I got my prescription lens for Glass, I wore Google Glass exclusively, including at the movies,” the man said. “As the prior couple of times there was no issue with me wearing glass at the very same movie theater, I didn’t even think about wearing my old pair of glasses to the movie, and I didn’t have my old glasses with me.”

The theater gave him two free tickets as compensation for his trouble.

“My glasses were not damaged,” the man explained. “After I explained to them how much they cost, they touched them in a gentler way. The only rough part was when they took them off my face in the theater.”

The man said he will make sure to keep another pair of glasses with him at the movies, and he said he won’t talk to law enforcement officers again without a lawyer present.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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