Let's put it out there: people wearing Google Glasses look weird. We're not used to seeing people with working computers for eyes. One Seattle bar took things a step further, though, by threatening to beat up anyone wearing the new eyewear. Google doesn't get what all the fuss is about.
"It is still very early days for Glass, and we expect that as with other new technologies, such as cell phones, behaviors and social norms will develop over time," a Google representative told CNET. Google is so naive thinking a statement like that would protect them from bullies. Google founder Sergey Brin said smartphones make him feel emasculated. Why the company doesn't get that their glasses are even worse is beyond comprehension?
But that's what Google hopes! The company was responding to threats from famous Seattle dive bar The 5 Point Cafe. The bar banned anyone wearing the glasses from their premises. Their message was simple: "ass kickings will be encouraged for violators."
But apparently that needed expanding, as if it was somehow unclear, so bar owner Dave Meinert told KIRO-FM in Seattle more about the policy. It's about privacy. "You have to understand the culture of The 5 Point which is a sometimes seedy, maybe notorious place and I think people want to go there and be not known," Meinert told the station. "Part of this is a joke, to be funny on Facebook and get a reaction, but part of it is serious because we don't let people film other people or take photos unwanted of other people in the bar because it's kind of a private place people go." Of the things we know Google Glass can do, taking video is one of the biggest features.
That doesn't mean techies are banned from coming to the famous Seattle spot. On the contrary, Meinart says: they routinely get people in from the local tech scene. "The 5 Point appeals to a wide variety of people. Some of the tech geeks come here, we're close by Amazon [...] It's OK if you wear them. I just don't want them worn inside." They still can't wear those glasses, though.
So, while Google fights battles to make the glasses more socially acceptable and more fashionable, they've also deployed a small army of people to wear the $1,500 glasses (that aren't available yet) around South by Southwest this weekend. Spottings started coming in Saturday afternoon:
Wait why are Google employees wearing Glass at SXSW if you aren't allowed to try them on or take pictures of them?— Jenna Wortham(@jennydeluxe) March 10, 2013
spotted my first Dude in Google Glasses and it's all over— Lindsey Weber (@lindseyweber) March 9, 2013
google glass sighting #2— Lindsey Weber (@lindseyweber) March 10, 2013
Okay just saw google glass guy #1 AGAIN and heard someone yell to him "IT'S BEAUTIFUL"— Lindsey Weber (@lindseyweber) March 10, 2013
First Google Glass sighting at SXSW. Instantly felt nervous, kept looking into the lens.— BuzzFeed FWD (@fwd) March 9, 2013
I’ve seen so many people walking around #sxsw wearing google glass. It’s kind of creepy. I also want a pair.— Keith Kurson ♡ (@keithkurson) March 10, 2013
just saw my first human at sxsw wearing google glass tweeted about it where's my pulitzer?— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) March 8, 2013
Now, there may be hope for Google yet: there have not been any reports of the Google Glass plants getting their butts kicked in Austin. Whether that says more about SxSW or Google Glass, well, that's up for some debate.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.