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Google-style glasses prof turns up the heat on McDonald's

After a pioneer in wearable computing claims he was assaulted in a Paris McDonald's, the company insists he wasn't physically attacked, but was asked to leave. He hits back again with new photo evidence.

The new image on Mann's blog.
Steve Mann Screenshot:Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Many who dream of adorning their faces with technology were stunned to hear that Google-type glasses might not be welcome at McDonald's.

Steve Mann, a professor at the University of Toronto, claimed that he had worn his Digital Eye Glass while ordering himself a Ranch Wrap in Paris.

He insisted that the employees did not take kindly to them. He claimed that they had tried to take them off him.

Now McDonald's has declared: "Non."

The company issued a statement, which reads in part: "Several staff members involved have been interviewed individually, and all independently and consistently expressed that their interaction with Dr. Mann was polite and did not involve a physical altercation."

No one seems to be disputing that Mann was asked to leave and that the reason for this was a potential threat to privacy. Yes, there was fear that he was surreptitiously (or not) photographing both staff and customers.

McDonald's and Mann were to have a conversation yesterday. However, Mann has now posted a new image to his blog, one that he says shows a McDonald's employee physically reaching for his futuristic eyepiece.

Without video of the action, it is impossible to know what might have happened in totality.

It's odd, though, that McDonald's claims its staff were polite at all times, when one of the images Mann posted seems to show a McDonald's employee tearing up a letter from Mann's doctor that allegedly explains why he wears those glasses.

There are many subtleties in politeness's definition, but that would appear to be outside them all.

If his Digital Eye Glass was damaged, how might that have happened?

Mann told the Toronto Star that, as well as the alleged assault, there is a philosophical issue to resolve.

"A person should be their own master of their own sensory perception. It's not up to McDonald's to prescribe eyewear in a mandatory fashion," he said.

I am sure Sergey Brin would second that view.

Steve Mann Screenshot:Chris Matyszczyk/CNET