Woman Claims She Was Assaulted, Robbed for Wearing Google Glasses
February 26, 2014 7:27 PM
Some dispute her account, while others say that patrons of the "punk bar" were justified if they assaulted her
some businesses banning customers wearing
Google Inc.'s (
Glass Explorer Edition (aka "Google Glasses")
from their establishments and with state
bans over driving with Google Glasses
on in the works,
has become and unexpected hotspot of controversy.
Some of this controversy is intrinsic; the rest is the result of ignorance, as some people believe Google Glass is always recording (actually you have to press a button or
speak to it a command
at moderate volume to do that).
Despite the partially contrived controversy
, Google's developers who have
promoted the devices
Some have labeled the emerging Glasses-wearing developer population "Glassholes", justifying the term with allegations of obnoxious behavior. But such talk always felt sort of wrong, as it harkened back to playground days where "beat the geek" was a popular pastime.
[Image Source: Donald Troupe]
Now a San Francisco, Calif. resident's
has provided further evidence that the backlash against Google Glasses may be evolving from well-intentioned frustration to an excuse to resort to time-honored bullying.
Molotov's in San Francisco is a local nightspot generally described on Yelp! as a "dive bar" with "strong drinks". One patron, Jessica T writes a generally positive review, describing:
Molotov's reminded me of my old friend: black clothes, loud punk music, and a hint of attitude. (oversimplified for effect...because of course he was more than just clothes, music, and attitude) You either like it, or you don't.
But...that is its charm.
And if you get attitude, shrug it off. Don't take it personally.
[Image Source: Yelp]
But for Sarah Slocum it was hard not to take the attitude she got personally. Attitude over her Google Glasses led to her allegedly not only being assaulted, but also robbed around the time the bar closed.
The incident began with two female patrons confronting her. They weren't happy with her Google Glasses, as they thought that she was recording them the whole time (likely due to their unfamiliarity with how pictures and video on the glasses were taken).
Sarah Slocum [Image Source: YouTube]
But where that experience might have been merely irritating, but what happened next definitely crossed the line.
A male friend of the critics reportedly scuffled with Ms. Slocum pulling away her glasses and her purse. Chasing him, she managed to grab back the glasses, but her purse is still missing.
On Facebook Inc.'s (
) social network she writes:
OMG so you’ll never believe this but… I got verbally and physically asaulted and robbed last night in the city, had things thrown at me because of some wanker Google Glass haters, then some *bleeeeeeeeeep* tore them off my face and ran out with them then and when I ran out after him his *bleeeeeeep* friends stole my purse, cellphone walet and everything..
She also posted about the experience:
In subsequent interviews with
CBS affiliate KPIX
and Kron TV...
... she gave her account of the story, which if accurate sounds like a pretty ugly ordeal.
Some residents who were interviewed by media, but did not observe the incident directly, were nonetheless unsympathetic. Comments one individual:
It's not Google Glass country... a level of tact in that type of establishment might have behooved her.
And a different angle has also developed. Local blog
questioned whether Ms. Slocum is telling the truth,
offering up a very different account
as told from an unnamed employee working across the street from the bar. The anonymous employee claims:
That is not at all what happened. It was after last call, she was wasted and being a b***h, someone called her a glasshole and her boyfriend tried to fight the dude, and got his a** whooped. The glasses fell off her face and someone picked them up and gave them back to her. Nobody robbed her either, this [person] is making all this s**t up. Go Molotovs!!!!!
Another anonymous source wrote the
blogger (Andrew Sarkarati) as saying:
I wouldn’t normally comment on such things but i actually met this girl on the street after the incident happened. Couple of things: It was 2am on a friday night when i met her she was less than sober (she had had approx a small child full of vodka cran’s) secondly from what she told me it sounded like she left her bag and phone unattended in a busy bar on a friday night. Her friends were so riled up (and obnoxious) that they almost started fighting with me when i argued it maybe wasn’t the smartest idea to wear google glass and film in a punk rock bar and leaving a bag and phone unattended wasn’t the wisest of decisions. I left her feeling sorry only for myself that i had spent 5 minutes of my life in her groups bosom.
Ms. Slocum has blasted these statements, commenting:
I wasn’t being any sort of a b***h until after I was flicked off, called a b***h, had dirty wet bar rags thrown at me and had people invading my personal space and trying to rip them off my face.
Your “friend” must have been one of the people who robbed me or who were friends with the robbers and tech glass haters at that bar and must have been the wasted one because they can’t even tell the difference between males and females or remember the story correctly. No glasses fell of my face. Those were my friend’s prescription glasses who defended me and got in a fight with the guy that ripped the glasses off my face and ran out of the bar with them. And if anyone got their a** beat it was the guy that that assaulted me and ran outside the bar with the Google Glasses. The only injuries that my friend has is a scrapped knee. And actually he was jumped by two other **** while he was fighting the d****bag.
I was minding my own biz with a computer phone. Everyone has a computer or phone these days. And what have they done to the city? Given people cool cellphones?? And awesome technology that we all use and take for granted everyday? I realize that I represented the tech millionaires and billionaires in their eyes, but that isn’t me and I didn’t even pay for my Google Glasses, one of my developer friends gave them to me because he wasn’t using them and doesn’t currently have time to develop an app for them right now.
Google has been cautious about not diving in until it knows all the details, but it has reached out to Ms. Slocum to learn more.
Even if it turns out that Ms. Slocum's dramatic story is made up (it wouldn't be the first
controversial Glasses fantasy
), it's clear that what she claims happened to her could happen to someone else in the future given the unchecked vehemence of many members of the public towards folks who wear Google Glasses. With such unchecked vehemence being compounded by ignorance of the technology (e.g. thinking a Glasses user is always recording you without them doing anything), things could wind up very badly in future confrontations.
John N. -- from Chicago, Ill. -- illustrates the cause for concern in his recent Yelp! review of the bar. Responding to critical reviews of the bar about the supposed incident, he writes:
Even if Ms. Slocum's accounting is inaccurate, it's clear that some people are becoming brazen enough to suggest what supposedly happen to her -- assault and robbery (or in his words "taking back the night") -- should happen to other "Glassholes". The fact that he would post that with a personally identifiable account shows the level of hate that's growing towards the wearable tech.
At a certain point one must ask whether that hate truly is stemming from legitimate concerns or is simply becoming an excuse to relive your childhood bullying glory days as an adult.
KPIX San Francisco
"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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