Google Glass banned from UK cinemas

Google Glass headsets have just become available to UK customers for the hefty price of 1,000, but cinemas around the UK have deemed them a potential aid to video piracy, and have thus banned them from use.

The worry is that those wearing the tech will be able to record blockbuster films without detection, contributing to the problem of film piracy in Britain and around the world. One early user was asked to remove his Google Glass headset in a Leicester Square cinema recently.

Phil Clapp, chief executive of the Cinema Exhibitors' Association, said: "Customers will be requested not to wear these into cinema auditoriums, whether the film is playing or not."

The glasses allow users to read their emails, capture videos, browse the internet and more through a display panel situated above the right eye. Though Google Glass' panel lights up when filming, there are still worries the act can go unnoticed in certain situations.

Concerns over video piracy are in many ways an extension of privacy issues that have plagued Google since the wearable tech was announced. With users granted the ability to record what they see without permission, and often without detection, this has brought with it many concerns.

In addition to cinemas across the country, other entertainment outlets are reportedly looking into taking similar precautions. Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, for example, announced it would "evaluate the implications, especially with regard to the effect on the cast, creative team and members of the public."

A spokesperson for Google said: "We recommend any cinemas concerned about Glass to treat the device as they treat similar devices like mobile phones: simply ask wearers to turn it off before the film starts. Broadly speaking, we also think it's best to have direct and first-hand experience with Glass before creating policies around it.

"The fact that Glass is worn above the eyes and the screen lights up whenever it's activated makes it a fairly lousy device for recording things secretly," the spokesperson added.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

You can get in touch with Caroline via email at