Woman allegedly attacked in US bar for wearing Google Glass

Writer who claims she was verbally and physically assaulted by 'haters' of the technology releases footage of confrontation filmed with eyewear

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 February, 2014, 9:32pm
UPDATED : Friday, 28 February, 2014, 8:06am


Watch: Scene from bar recorded with Slocum's Google Glass

A San Francisco woman who said she was attacked at a bar after refusing to take off her Google Glass eyewear has released video footage of the incident - filmed with the new technology that spurred the confrontation in the first place.

The incident and reactions to it hinge on a modern morality conundrum: is it OK to video-record every stranger you meet, with or without their consent?

One witness later told a television station that some in the crowd were "just rather insulted that someone thinks it's OK to record them the entire time they're in public"

In a video posted to YouTube, technology writer Sarah Slocum provided a narrative for the footage, which she said captures the weekend attack.

"This is the video that I got on Google Glass at Molotov bar on Haight Street after being verbally accosted and flicked off by the Asian-looking girl, I turned on the video, and after I told them I was doing so they got p***ed and came after me," Slocum wrote.

"Unfortunately, I had not extended the video so it cuts out after 10 seconds. Here you can see them - two people, a male and a female - trying to block the camera. The guy waving his hands in my face here later rips the Google Glasses off my face and ran out of the bar," she wrote.

The incident reportedly started out as a friendly exchange between patrons at the bar and Slocum, who has posted extensively about the encounter on her Facebook page and Twitter account.Some at the bar were curious, asking for demonstrations of the technology, which Google sees as a new way to effortlessly connect people with information, though it has yet to hit the mass consumer market.

But as the night wore on, a group reportedly became upset about the potential for being recorded by the eyewear, CBS San Francisco reported. The confrontation reportedly turned violent when a friend she was with responded to one heckler by throwing a punch.

The Google Glass was then allegedly ripped off Slocum's face by a man who ran out of the bar.

"I got verbally and physically assaulted and robbed last night in the city, had things thrown at me because of some Google Glass haters," she wrote. She got the Google Glass back but was allegedly robbed of her handbag and phone.

One witness later told a television station that some in the crowd were "just rather insulted that someone thinks it's OK to record them the entire time they're in public".

It seems Google Glass has spurred as much controversy about how the new technology would integrate into society as it has for its potential.

Another controversy erupted over Google Glass in October when a California Highway Patrol officer issued a ticket to a woman for driving while wearing Google Glass.

She was eventually found not guilty in court, but San Diego Traffic Commissioner John Blair found that wearing Google Glass could be considered a distraction to driving if authorities are able to prove the eyewear was on.

According to KRON-TV, Slocum wears Google Glass nearly everywhere. Slocum wrote that the incident "has consumed my life since late Friday night."

"From being assaulted and robbed, to being locked out of my house, to not having a cell, ID, money, house keys, etc., to being contacted by everyone I practically know after posting what happened to me, to being attacked again by people who are questioning my story and calling it a personal PR stunt, I have been overwhelmed, frazzled, stressed," she wrote. "Crazy last few days."