Man Attacked For Wearing Digital Eye Glasses That Look Like Google Glasses

Google Glass may allow you to record images like nothing that's come before it, but they will also make you stand out, like Dr Steve Mann, who's been developing wearable computing systems in the same vein as Project Glass since 1999. Sadly, though, he got beaten up in McDonald's for wearing his own techno-glasses.

Mann's device, called the EyeTap Digital Eye Glass, is more an academic study than a commercial venture [PDF]. But his glasses, pictured below next to Project Glass, do look an awful lot like Google's. OK, a bit more home-grown than sci-fi, but not far off. Seemingly, though, wearing a computer on your face doesn't win you any friends.

Mann reports the incident, which happened in a Parisian branch of McDonald's while he was holidaying with his family, on his blog:

[M]y family and I seated ourselves in the restaurant right by the entrance, so we could watch people walking along Avenue Champs Elysees while we ate our meal... Subsequently another person within McDonalds physically assaulted me, while I was in McDonand's, eating my McDonand's Ranch Wrap that I had just purchased at this McDonald's. He angrily grabbed my eyeglass, and tried to pull it off my head. The eyeglass is permanently attached and does not come off my skull without special tools.

The assault then descended into Mann being pushed to the floor, in the process damaging his glasses. You can read the whole account here. The incident is, of course, a sad reflection on Parisian society. But it's also a sign that wearing Google's new glasses won't win you any friends either. [Eyetap via The Verge]



    Those rude French people! This calls for a geek boycott.

    From now on let our slivers of deep-fried potato be known as ''Fractal Fries''.

      The article neglects to mention that the people who assaulted him were McDonalds employees.

    Maybe the guy who attacked him was American and not French... Meaning you should lay off judging.

      Everyone knows that Americans don't assault innocent geeks, silly. They're far too busy creating Coalitions of the Willing to help them invade middle eastern countries.

      American working at a McDonalds in France? It's probably more likely that it was a Frenchie, not a yank.

    They are "funky" in France. I was there in November, I was sitting near the Eiffel tower in the park (i was unashamedly a tourist ) . A young lady with friends had an ipad, anyway a few French dudes were just gayhering as she used it - you could see she was unconfortablr, The ipad iPad she had, was different, in that the screen replaced so the frame was pink (not black or white). I expect it was screen modded. They were quite full on, and were "in her face" wanting here to hand it to them. I don't think she knew them. She was petrified. I don't speak French, but it was clearly the different iPad. Luckily she was able to get into a Cab, with her two girlfriends waving their Louis Vitton handbags in defense. I think they "technology difference intolerant". Loved France though...

      What did I just read?

    Ok I figured from the article this was geek bashing the whole 'hey you look like a weirdo' *smack*

    But unless I missed it above, read the source link he was assaulted BY mcdonalds staff! WTF...and has pictures of their name tags :)... The idea of being surrounded by 3 mcdonalds staff members one with a dustpan and broom is absurd to the point of hilarity. On a more serious note that's really messed up and since he was there with his family even moreso

    The glasses were attached to his face? Dayum.

    What does this say for the future of smart glasses in general. Maybe this whole Google glasses is just going to end with people refusing service or interaction with those who wear them.

      Oh yeh, because this is totally not an isolated incident.

        Yeah, I'm confused too. What is your point?

          His point is that this is unlikely to happen all the time, so Timmahh's speculation is false.

            What the hell is wrong with you people? I make a general statement without any intent and you spend all day spinning shit about it.
            @ Matt.... general statement without intent.. OK
            @ Ozone.. read above
            @ Nody & Tits... It's not that hard... Sheesh!!

            What the hell is wrong with you people..? I make one general statement, with no malicious intent and you're all having kittens. Get over it OK

    Something that needs to be taken into account with this camera always on stuff, people might not light to be photographed by some stranger. If you think about it a world with people walking around with these is starting to get REALLY creepy (mainly cause the world is full of really creepy people).

      Indeed. I do not endorse this kind of action but I can see why this sort of thing would indeed start. People will start filming without consent in restaraunts, courts etc. If there's zero privacy now, what's less than zero? Seriously.

        you have no expectation of privacy in public. The person is only recording what he sees, like a more vivid memory. Is it an invasion of your privacy if a person sees you do something, and then describes it to his friends, or posts a description of your actions to Facebook?

          You sir, mistake the idea of public and private. Inside a restaraunt is not 'public'. Out in the street is. You have no right to pick up a videocamera and start videotaping inside a private establishment such as a restaraunt. Try it sometime, you will have security on your ass, or management, faster than you will believe. I understand what you're trying to get at but it's not at all what I'm saying. Recording you in a private establishment such as a restaraunt, etc is a privacy issue.

            "The person is only recording what he sees, like a more vivid memory."

            And a big wtf to this? How is that any different to a standard videocamera???

            Privacy issue my ass -- Maccas' are drenched in security cameras. What's the problem with one more?

              Their own cameras footage is not available for you to view.
              Big difference.

        You've never been to the champs élysées have you? There's a camera every 2m being waved by a tourist. Maybe they should all be beaten up I suppose because they might take your pic without your consent.

          No VIncent, the champs élysées is a public space.. see Weresmurf's reply above .. it explains the difference very well.

            It's not just about being in public space. We all have expectations that we are seen in public, but not necessarily photographed or, even worse, feature in someone's video collection. As I said, privacy issues aside, it is getting creepy.

              Haha, featured in someone's video collection, thats a good one. Unless he/she walked over to you and stood right next to you, what do you think he could really capture, have you seen how shaky people film, strapping a camera to your head is not going to be a pretty image. You might end up on the persons video for a couple of frames, thats it, and you would know if they were filming you, cause they would have to look straight at you, not like a camera phone which you can hold to the side to hide what your up to.

    The article fails to point out that his glasses are for vision enhancement. He suffers from near blindness. He had a doctor's letter explaining their purpose which his assailants tore up

      One of my mates who's gone Melbourne-side for awhile couldn't live without his iPhone. He's legally blind, but manages to make do with holding his iPhone straight up to his face. It's the only way he can see anything without putting his nose in it.

    No royal-al with chesse or Le big mac for him then, hasn't France got some of the toughest privacy laws in the world when it comes to things like taking someone's picture without permission?

    is the guy on the left not wearing a shirt?

    Must have been some hardcore iSheep

    Also why is Steve Mann naked in that photo?

    If he was a bit tougher and fought back, he would've won easily.

    The French are known to be big Surrender-Monkeys.

    Ok so 2 or 3 idiots assault someone in Paris, then suddenly the whole Parisian society is to blame? Wtf seriously. I guess I must be the kind of person who's gonna attack a funny glasses wearing dude because I was born in Paris?

      face it
      the french are basically the jews of europe

        So they get blamed for everything because there is a powerful subset of French who control all of Europe? Hm. It might explain why they don't just sit there and take shit from the EU :)

    Permanently attached? WTF?!

    Is it just me or did he mention the word McDonalds like a dozen times. It almost read to me as an advertisement. Is McDonalds now going to insane lengths to get free advertising that they'd pay a scientist to get beaten up in one of their restaurants whilst wearing a HMD.

    "[M]y McDonalds family and I seated ourselves in the McDonalds restaurant right by the entrance, so we could watch people walking along Avenue Champs Elysees while we ate our meal at a McDonalds… Subsequently another person within McDonalds physically assaulted me, while I was in McDonand’s, eating my delcious McDonand’s Ranch Wrap that I had just purchased at this McDonald’s. (where else did he purchase you have to wonder if he hadn't specified) He angrily grabbed my eyeglass, and tried to pull it off my head. The eyeglass is permanently attached and does not come off my skull without special tools that you can only buy in a McDonalds".

    So he was in McDonalds, eating his McDonalds meal that he bought from McDonalds?

    Where was he eating again? I missed the name.... lol

    Macca's used to have a policy of "no photos" in stores even here in Oz.
    (I used to be a manager at one.. I escaped fortunately)
    This was waaaay back in the 80's so I guess things have changed now, but maybe not in France?
    They probably thought he was taking photo/video footage of their store or spying in some way.
    Just a thought.
    But why the hell would you make something that requires tools to remove it from your body?
    Muggers are everywhere and they don't give a frack how you come out of an altercation.
    Guys sounds like a bit of a tool himself to be honest.

    The full article is pretty shocking. What do you do when people assault you and the police will do nothing about it? Why does a fast food chain need such secrecy?

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