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Woman attacked in bar apparently for wearing Glass

glass sells out in tuesday sale google closeup
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Stories of ‘firsts’ with Glass have been hitting the headlines ever since the device first showed up a couple of years ago, y’know the ones, first livestreamed surgery, first marriage proposal, first porn app. Now we have one Google definitely didn’t want to see but was bound to come sooner or later – first alleged assault on a person wearing Glass.

According to a CBS report this week, tech blogger Sarah Slocum says she was demonstrating Google’s wearable tech to a couple of people in a San Francisco bar last Friday when a man whipped Glass off her face before another person entered the fray and stole her purse and phone.

‘You’ll never believe this…’

“OMG so you’ll never believe this but… I got verbally and physically assaulted and robbed last night in the city, had things thrown at me because of some *** Google Glass haters …,” Slocum wrote on her Facebook page.

Witnesses told CBS that initially everything was fine at the bar – Molotov’s on Haight Street – with Slocum happily demonstrating the Web giant’s tech to friends.

But then things took a turn for the worse when several drinkers became angry at the idea that Slocum might be recording them with the device’s on-board camera. After a man reportedly insulted her, a friend of Slocum apparently responded with a fist in his face, with Slocum’s Glass, purse and phone taken in the ensuing chaos. She later recovered Google’s gadget, though her other items are still missing.

“The crowd was jeering as any last call crowd would do with a fight outside of a bar,” witness Brian Lester told CBS.

Just before the brawl kicked off, Lester claimed Slocum had been “running around very excited…and people were telling her, ‘you’re being an *** take those glasses off.” It sounds as if Google’s recently released etiquette guide on how not to be a Glasshole may have passed her by.

massive mobile
Glass birth pains: Mobile phones also used to get a lot of unwanted attention in the early days, though admittedly their gargantuan size may have had something to do with it. Image used with permission by copyright holder

Another witness described the drinking establishment as “one of the more punk rock bars in the city” with few tech-oriented types drinking there.

Video evidence

Funnily enough, the video on Slocum’s Glass was running at the time, and therefore captured much of the incident, including the face of her alleged attacker as he made a grab for the specs. Presumably the video is now being studied by cops investigating the incident.

This is the kind of story that obviously has the potential to become depressingly familiar as Glass begins to find its way onto more and more faces following its imminent commercial release, especially if owners of the device act in a way that upsets those in the vicinity. In addition, expensive tech on show is always going to grab the attention of ne’er do wells, opportunist thieves and plain old assholes, with the $1500 face-based gadget an easy target for such types.

PR campaign

The Mountain View company has been steadily pushing to get people onside with Glass by painting it in a positive light, launching a nationwide roadshow to get people comfortable with the tech as well as rolling out the previously mentioned dos-and-don’ts guide for owners.

However, judging by this latest news, it looks like it may take a while for some folk to warm up to Glass, though attitudes among individuals currently distrustful of the gadget and those who wear it will hopefully change for the better as time goes on.

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Trevor Mogg
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