Since first being announced by Google back in 2012 the wearable computing glasses known as Google Glass has seen its share of struggles. With bars banning the use of Glass, to even seeing West Virginia ban using Glass while driving, or in the process at least. While the device is still not a commercial product available to consumers, it’s in the hands and on the faces of Glass Explorer beta testers, and one just received a ticket for wearing them while driving.
There’s been a big debate about using Glass while driving, recording people without their knowledge, and even places like the Airport and Caesars Palace Casino in my hometown of Las Vegas have banned the wearable device. Well, today the argument just received a valid platform as one Explorer who owns Glass in California recently was pulled over and ticketed for speeding, and get this, wearing Google Glass.
One Google Glass owner and explorer +Cecilia Abade was quite unhappy yesterday when a cop issued a citation and ticket because she was wearing – not using – Google Glass. Here’s where things get interesting, because the law obviously isn’t tailored around this next-gen wearable computing and visual device, and the details are all a little fuzzy. She might have a case, but we’re not sure.
Posting the image you see below to the social network in hopes that followers and readers could give her legal advice. It’s worth noting she was going 80 in a 65 MPH zone, so obviously speeding, but the cop cited her for “Driving with a monitor visible to driver,” citing section 27602 and then put Google Glass as the reason.
This would have you believe any display could get you a ticket, but that’s where this all gets fuzzy. GPS systems, built-in display units, a mapping display, vehicle information system, and various other “display” type sub areas aren’t included. It’s worth Noting that Google Glass is not in the main path of vision for the user, not to mention the display is always off to save the precious and short battery life. Only while being used, and often (within a minute) does the display ever stay on. So while this user had them on her head, it’s highly likely the display was never actually on.
However, let me watch Monday Night Football on them, and I might get caught driving whilst using Glass myself. You never know. At the same time, the information above did state a mapping display was allowed. Using Google Glass for navigation is one of the many excellent features of the wearable computing goggles, so she might have an argument there, even if she wasn’t using them in that fashion.
At this point there’s still tons of questions around this entire situation, and Google Glass as a whole. Yes they’ve passed the FCC and some limited users have them, but Glass is yet to become an official product for consumers. We have a feeling Google, and others, might have some hurdles in the near future and heading into 2014 when it comes to wearable connected devices such as Google Glass and beyond.
As a reminder Google Glass is still on track for a mid 2014 release date, but there’s no official word thus far.