A new swipe at Google Glass

Google Glass is becoming more accessible to consumers, and interest in wearable technology is growing; there’s a version of the computer-linked eyewear from Samsung on the way this fall. But there’s still a segment of the population that’s hostile to what it considers an apparent and growing intrusion of technology.

We’ve posted some time ago about tensions over the presence of wearable tech like Google Glass. In one of the more infamous examples occurring earlier this year, a woman said was verbally and physically assaulted by several patrons of a San Francisco bar for wearing the device. More recently, Google Glass users retaliated against a New York City restaurant by flooding it with poor online reviews after a patron was asked to leave for refusing to remove the device.

Now comes this: According to an article in Wired, a German artist has written a computer program that can sever the device’s Wi-AI connection as well as detect those wearing the device nearby.

Berlin’s Julian Oliver tells Wired he created the Glasshole.sh program after hearing that an artist friend was troubled by guests who showed up at one of his exhibits wearing the Glass device. The device offered no way for the artist to know if the visitors were photographing, recording or live-streaming his work.

Says Oliver:

“To say ‘I don’t want to be filmed’ at a restaurant, at a party, or playing with your kids is perfectly OK. But how do you do that when you don’t even know if a device is recording? This steps up the game. It’s taking a jammer-like approach.”

Oliver sees his program as no different as technology that jams cell phone signals, which has been adopted in places like government buildings.

He says he’s planning to create another version of the program that would be capable of disconnecting Google Glass from any network over even severing its link to the user’s handset, though he adds it would only be implemented for use “in extreme circumstances.”

What remains to be said, for now, is this: What are the options for a company that invests a significant amount of capital for mobile content accessible by wearable devices like Google Glass – content that can likely, in any place, be blocked to the user?


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