Another Google Glass user was accosted just for wearing the device in San Francisco, in what the victim believes may have been the second attack of its kind in the city since late February.
Journalist Kyle Russell was wearing the device while covering protests against Google on Friday, which were organized in response to growing housing disparity in the city as a result of rent increases to accommodate tech workers, when a woman shouted “Glass!” at him, stole the device off his face and sprinted away, Mashable reported.
The woman reportedly evaded Russell, who chased after her with a friend, but not before smashing the device on the ground. Russell told Mashable that the device is now “unusable,” and that destroying the device was the point of the attack.
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"The tone of how she yelled 'Glass!' and the way she smashed Glass gave me the impression that its destruction was her intention," he said. "But my interpretation could be skewed by my place in the incident."
Although the attack happened as Russell was leaving the anti-Google protests, he says he doesn’t think the Glass thief had anything to do with it. Mashable reports:
Describing the woman as in her early 20s, Russell says the woman had a faux-hawk with the sides of her head shaved and wore a black leather jacket and boots. "That's not really how I'd describe anyone in the crowd at the protest I was at earlier that day, and she was walking from the opposite direction of the protestors' march."
— says Russell
Russell appears to be the second victim of an attack provoked by opponents of Google Glass in San Francisco in less than two months. In late February, another journalist was assaulted at a bar in the city’s Lower Haight district after showing others in the bar how Glass works. According to multiple reports, the attack came near to closing time at the bar after other bar patrons shouted insults and expressed concern that the Glass device was recording video of them against their will. Shortly thereafter, a man took the device off the owner’s face, and when she chased after him, others stole her purse and cellphone.
Last month, Google addressed some of the vitriol against Glass with a Google+ post debunking myths about the device. The post clarified that Glass does not allow facial-recognition apps and that the device is not always on and recording its surroundings when a nearby user is wearing it.
Colin Neagle covers emerging technologies and the startup scene for Network World. Follow him on Twitter @ntwrkwrldneagle and keep up with the Microsoft, Cisco and Open Source community blogs. Colin's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.