Documentary filmmaker Chris Barrett has captured what may have been the first arrest ever to be recorded on Google Glass.
Barrett was on a New Jersey boardwalk filming fireworks during the July 4th holiday weekend when he caught some footage of two men in a fight, with some shouts of "get him!" and a shirtless man being led off in handcuffs. He later posted the video to YouTube, writing in the post that the "video is proof that Google Glass will change citizen journalism forever!" -- and causing many to speculate about the video's privacy implications.
Chris Matyszczyk of CNET summed up people's worries succinctly: "For all those who believe that Google Glass might represent greater (and more covert) intrusion in their lives, this footage might serve to increase their discomfort."
John Koetsier of VentureBeat, who interviewed Barrett post-filming, says the technology sparks controversy because it it can be worn "every waking hour" and activated "with a wink." Still, he notes that there are far more inconspicuous ways to record people: pinhole cameras, for instance, or what he describes as "tiny wearable cameras that take pictures every 30 seconds." There are also more convenient and inexpensive ways to film boardwalk fights: cell phone cameras, which other onlookers in Barrett's own footage used to film the fight.
Those interested in maintaining their privacy can thank Google for small mercies: Facial recognition apps are not yet allowed on Google Glass. And thanks to Japan's National Institute of Informatics, even Glass' ever-ready camera can now be foiled -- provided you're willing to wear some chunky shades of your own.