The long anticipated wearable gadget; Google Glass, has received its first set of restrictions from the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association less than a week after its initial release in the UK on the 23rd of June. The restrictions were announced by the CEA’s chief executive, Phil Clapp has suggested that customers will be asked not to wear google glass when they are in cinemas and auditoriums, whether or not the film is already playing. The CEA represents 90% of the cinemas in the country, and while it is the first to outright ban the gadget, VUE cinema has already placed restriction on the use of the device during screening by saying the device should be turned off as the lights go down, bringing it at par with mobile phones.

Phil Clapp

Phil Clapp ‘Take off the glass’

Other Company Restrictions

Other companies are also implementing restrictions on the use of Google Glass as they see fit:

  1. Hospitals in the NHS are expecting users to remove the device out of concern for patients’ privacy.
  2. Virgin Active has allowed users to wear the device in its gyms, but they are not allowed to use it to take any pictures.
  3. The Department for Transport is considering imposing restriction on the use of the device. However, it is also seeking to work with Google to make it safer for drivers to use by restricting it capabilities while driving, to prevent distractions.
  4. Several other cinema chains are reported to be evaluating the impact of Google Glass before they implement any restrictions.


To counter some of these restrictions, Google has been providing advice to users to prevent them from turning into “glassholes”. Google also issued an advice to policy-makers saying that they recommend all cinemas that are concerned about Google-glass users to treat to the device as they would a mobile phone. Basically, ask users to switch it off before the film gets started.


Google says: Don’t be a Glasshole

The device is worn above the eye and the screen often activates with a light. The user also has to convey verbal or hand gestures to communicate with it. This makes it very conspicuous if a user is heard in a darkened cinema hall saying something like, ‘Glass, capture movie.’ Another thing that makes it even less likely for cinema-related piracy is the fact that the battery of Glass lasts only 45 minutes while recording a movie. In an age where far more concealable miniature cameras, recording in full HD are available, it is highly unlikely that Glass would be used for this purpose. Therefore, cinema associations might consider taking a leaf out of VUEs book and study the capabilities of Glass before slapping even stricter stipulations on it than they have on mobile phones.


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