Seattle dive bar becomes first to ban Google Glass
Owner says "it's because it's kind of a private place that people go." Will other businesses follow?
Google Glass won't be available to consumers for months, but there's at least one Seattle bar where the eyewear will not be welcome.
The 5 Point, a self-described dive bar in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, posted a notice to its Facebook page this week telling Glass Explorers looking to grab a pint that they will need to remove their $1,500 spectacles. The story was noted today on GeekWire.
"For the record, The 5 Point is the first Seattle business to ban in advance Google Glasses," the post reads. "And ass kickings will be encouraged for violators."
"I'm a thought leader," deadpanned Dave Meinert, the bar's owner, in an interview on Seattle's KIRO-FM. "First you have to understand the culture of the 5 Point, which is a sometimes seedy, maybe notorious place. People want to go there and be not known...and definitely don't want to be secretly filmed or videotaped and immediately put on the Internet."
Meinert admitted he was having a bit of fun: "Part of this is a joke, to be funny on Facebook, and get reaction."
"But part of it's serious," he continued, "because we don't let people film other people or take photos unwanted of people in the bar, because it is kind of a private place that people go." (To listen to the complete interview with Meinert, click here.)
Seattle is a famously tech-savvy town, of course, and the 5 Point sits close to a new Amazon campus. But it's that same tech savvy that's leading business owners like Meinert to consider the implications of having customers with face-mounted cameras, snapping pictures of a diverse and sometimes intoxicated clientele.
It's safe to assume the 5 Point won't be the last establishment to tell customers to leave Glass at the door.
Update: A Google spokesperson responds: "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."
Illustration via Stop the Cyborgs. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.