The Fourth of July holiday brought about another first for Google Glass, the computing device that you can wear on your face.

Chris Barrett, a documentary filmmaker and founder of PRServe.com, was wearing Glass for a fireworks show in Wildwood, N.J., when he happened upon a boardwalk brawl and subsequent arrest. He and the technology community that has been tracking notable Google Glass moments believe he recorded the first public arrest caught on the Glass’ built-in camera.

“This video is proof that Google Glass will change citizen journalism forever,” Barrett wrote on his YouTube page. While all citizen journalists armed with a camera or a smartphone could capture similar video, Barrett told VentureBeat that the fact the glasses were relatively unnoticeable made a big difference:

“I think if I had a bigger camera there, the kid would probably have punched me,” Barrett told me. “But I was able to capture the action with Glass and I didn’t have to hold up a cell phone and press record.”

Barrett added today that the hands-free aspect of using Glass to record a scene made a big difference.

“What is interesting with Glass is that in tense situations, like, say, war reporting, your hands are free while you’re shooting. You can use your hands to protect yourself. If I wanted to back away, I could do it without dropping my camera or stopping the recording. That’s a big step in wearable computing,” Barrett told NPR.

But others worry about the implications. Christophe Gevrey, the global head of editorial solutions for Thomson Reuters, wrote this on his blog:

“More notable than the video itself is the ease at which it was captured without the knowledge of those in the middle of the melee. His footage foreshadows the rapidly approaching future where everything can be filmed serendipitously by folks wearing devices like Google Glass without the knowledge of the parties involved.”

The video capability of Google Glass is raising the most concern of regulators. As The Washington Post reports:

“In May, the House Bipartisan Privacy Caucus wrote Google a letter, asking for more information about how Google Glass will work within the company’s privacy standards. Last month, 10 privacy regulators from around the world, including Canada, Australia and a European Commission panel, asked Google for more information on how the company’s headset complies with their data protection laws and what data it collects.”

Google responded on June 7, saying that it won’t be changing its privacy policy to deal with Glass-specific concerns but that it is “thinking carefully” about the feedback it’s getting from lawmakers.

What do you think? Is Google Glass an exciting new front in citizen journalism or is it making it too easy for citizen snooping? Tweet at us @NPRAllTech or we can chat in the comments.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
 

Comments are closed.

News

AFP/Getty Images
July 24, 2016 | NPR · It’s the first time for a solar-powered plane to circumnavigate the globe. Now it’s en route to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — and you can watch the journey in a live video from the cockpit.
 

AP
July 24, 2016 | NPR · Authorities had warned that tap water in Hugo, Colo., was unsafe to consume due to high levels of marijuana’s psychoactive compound. Now, it turns out that the results were just a false positive.
 

Getty Images
July 24, 2016 | NPR · “I will feel horrible if Donald Trump is elected, I will feel horrible if Hillary Clinton is elected,” says Green Party candidate Jill Stein. She says the two big parties lock out other voices.
 

Arts & Life

Getty Images
July 24, 2016 | NPR · As the launch of the upcoming film coincides with the heroine’s Comic-Con fandom, Wonder Woman appears to be hooking new fans for the same reasons she was birthed in 1941: justice, peace and feminism.
 

NPR
July 24, 2016 | NPR · Blake Crouch’s new science fiction novel tells the story of Jason Dessen, a father and physics professor who suddenly finds himself in a parallel universe — in which he’s unmarried and famous.
 

July 24, 2016 | NPR · On the 100th anniversary of Norman Rockwell’s first Saturday Evening Post cover, several of the children seen in his iconic portraits gathered at the Norman Rockwell Museum.
 

Music

Adam Kissick for NPR
July 24, 2016 | NPR · The Newport favorite brought along some special guests for Saturday’s most anticipated set.
 

WXPN
July 24, 2016 | WXPN · WXPN in Philadelphia is hosting its own music festival this weekend.
 

July 24, 2016 | NPR · Remember the song “Stacy’s Mom”? The band Fountains of Wayne is no longer together, but NPR’s Elise Hu speaks with its former lead singer, Chris Collingwood, about his new solo project.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab