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

AP
April 24, 2017 | NPR · Peggy Whitson is a biochemist who has twice commanded the International Space Station. When she comes back down to Earth this year, she’ll have logged more than 650 days in space.
 

U.S. Navy
April 24, 2017 | NPR · North Korea is threatening to sink a U.S. Navy strike group that’s led by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier. The regime has also reportedly detained a U.S. citizen.
 

AP
April 24, 2017 | NPR · For the Murdochs, who control Fox News as part of a larger media empire, getting rid of Bill O’Reilly is a move to regain full control of the European broadcasting giant Sky in a $14.6 billion deal.
 

Arts & Life

April 23, 2017 | NPR · This weeks #NPRpoetry Twitter submissions celebrate Mother Earth.
 

April 23, 2017 | NPR · Washington Post reporter Amy Goldstein talks about her book Janesville: An American Story, that’s about a factory town in Wisconsin that lost its lifeblood when its factory shut down.
 

April 23, 2017 | NPR · A slew of new documentaries look back on the Los Angeles riots, 25 years after the city erupted in protest. But why are so many being made and why now?
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
April 24, 2017 | NPR · The kaleidoscopic images that swirl around in Segall’s new video mirror the madness he feels over the 24-hour news cycle.
 

NPR
April 24, 2017 | NPR · I have a self-imposed rule for Tiny Desk Concerts: No artist can visit twice unless there’s something wholly different about what they’re doing. alt-J was happy to oblige.
 

Courtesy of the artist
April 24, 2017 | WXPN · In a session with World Cafe‘s David Dye, the California trio’s members discuss the themes of empowerment in their music and perform songs from The World We Built.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab