From Silicon valley to Hollywood ever since it was announced the futuristic piece of technology Google Glass has caused a stir, especially amongst studios, exhibitors and cinemas with a divided war currently taking place over the new wearable technology.
The device itself is a new hands-free, head-mounted, wearable device that offers the compatibility of a smartphone without the featureless piece of glass we all carry around. The product, that features an uncovered camera, is not currently on sale but has been made available to certain members of the media, production, programing and development industries. This group of people have been quickly titled Glass Explorers. Hollywood’s elite celebrities are also amongst them as early adopters of Glass, the Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyar better known as Raj Koothrappali was most recently seen wearing the snazzy piece of future tech on the red carpet at the prestigious annual Emmy Awards.
The piracy myths – So the most talked about subject surrounding Google Glass in Hollywood is of course cinemas, which have taken quick action to ban google glass from their venues. However, the honest truth to the device being used to advance movie piracy is actually false. The proof of this is majorly in the capability of the device for three reasons, firstly it only lets you record roughly 40 minutes on a complete charge – not even enabling someone to record half of most feature length films. Secondly the device is unable to record unless the screen, which radiates a bright light in a dark room, is switched on – as such it would be relatively quick and easy to spot anyone attempting to record a film. Finally the third fact that might surprise most non-active Glass users is that there is no stabilisation built in to google glass, so unless you are able to keep you head absolutely still for up to three hours the your video is not going to be viewable. So in actual fact it would be much easier, and at $1,500 dollars, cheaper to simply record on the smartphone which according to a 2013 study 56% of American adults now own.
The potential – So as Google Glass is in truth not a viable option for theater going pirates there are some uses for the new technology around Hollywood and your local cinema than you might think. The device is much like your smartphone except it is constantly accessible, opening up a lot of new opportunities for apps. Potentials in the movie world are already arising from developers coding for Glass, with new beta apps released online giving users abilities ranging from real time captions for the hearing impaired to scanning a poster to watch the trailer.
The divide – So just which of Hollywood organisations are against and for Google Glass. The main unspoken institutions still to discuss Google Glass are perhaps the most precedent setting, as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) have both state that they are currently researching the products potential for piracy although they have not yet said just where they stand on the products uses within the screen and out. Cinemas are currently enforcing strict bans on the product, wearers are currently being preemptively asked to remove the headgear when entering any cinema lobbies or buildings. However, are some individuals in Hollywood currently prototyping with the technology for film distribution and real time captioning. Breaking Bad Producer Mark Johnson talked about the technology saying “It’s what we’re all talking about, Content is going to be delivered in every possible way. Why not have something that is almost part of us.”
So whether Google Glass will become Hollywood’s ally or enemy is yet unknown. Although, it will be interesting to see how this new technological revolution unfolds in Hollywood.
About the Author
James Rush is the Founding, News & Chief Editor for TFM.