Ahead of the widely anticipated public release of Google Glass, Google is partnering with Ray-Ban and Oakley to develop frames equipped with the augmented reality-enhanced glasses. But perhaps more valuable was the release of Do’s and Don’ts for current Glass Explorers and future users.
Many suspect Google’s etiquette guide for Glass Explorers is a response in part, to a February 22 incident that occurred at Molotov's, a bar in San Francisco’s Lower Haight neighborhood. Bay Area tech writer Sarah Slocum claims she was victimized for recording video with Glass of bar patrons without their permission, something Google frowns upon and writes in its Don’ts section – don’t be creepy or rude (aka a “Glasshole”).
At short time later, developers also released The Top 10 Google Glass Myths, in part to offset some of the negative publicity but also to set the record straight. Yet bad publicity prevailed again when word got out Ms. Slocum had a restraining order against her two years ago after recording the conversation of her neighbors in Aptos. According to the Los Angeles Times, Ms. Slocum was caught pointing her smartphone at her neighbor’s window, something she first denied, then later admitted in court. In a related story from CBS San Francisco, Ms. Slocum claims the neighbors were conspiring against her, described the couple as a “crazy old biker dude” and “crazy broad” and accused the husband of “chasing a friend of mine with an axe.” Another story from the San Francisco Chronicle says court records show Ms. Slocum's mother, Maya and ex-husband also had filed restraining orders against her.
Last Friday Ms. Slocum issued her side of the story and a second video from the now infamous February 22 incident at Molotov’s that led to the firing of an employee. However, to many viewers, the new video depicts her in a negative light with her profane comments and gestures and calling the employee “white trash”, “bitch” and “wanker”. Ms. Slocum also writes “someone who doesn't want to be recorded, doesn't go around flipping off and verbally accosting someone with a camera” but go tell that to celebrity parents who are trying to protect their children from the paparazzi. She also repeatedly describes someone as a “short little Asian guy” and accuses him of “bully crowd mentality” and flashing gang signs.
For someone who has been portrayed as an unofficial ambassador for Glass, one can be led to believe her behavior resembles that in the Do’s and Don’ts a la the Glasshole, with Google summarizing -
“Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers.”
In fact, some businesses have already responded negatively, by banning the use of Google Glass in some San Francisco bars due to real concerns of privacy with other patrons. If other incidents occur, other businesses may follow in banning the sleek and stylish wearable technology.
While the debate continues whether Ms. Slocum was right in her actions that night at Molotov’s, perhaps the better solution was simply to leave or as the etiquette guide says - "just take it off and put it around the back of your neck or in your bag."