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Citizen Journalism: ‘I filmed the first fight and arrest through Google Glass’

It turns out Snooki and Mike, The Situation, aren’t the only ones causing trouble on the Jersey Shore these days. A few rowdy celebrations circa July 4th turned into a real-life episode as one Google Glass enthusiast happened to be testing out the video recording option on his Glass device.

Chris Barrett, founder of PRServe and a documentary filmmaker, was able to catch the aftermath of the big fight and arrest on his Glass camera, in what is surely the first arrest ever filmed via Glass. Chris said to Venture Beat about the event:

I picked up my Google Glass explorer edition last week, I wanted to test Glass out, so I filmed some fireworks, getting a very cool first-person perspective. About 10 minutes after the fireworks, we were walking back to our car, and I just decided to try it out on the boardwalk.

I walked right up, saw a crowd forming, and people were saying a fight was going on. With Glass I went closer to the action than I probably should have and saw a couple fights going on. I think I got the first arrest with Google Glass … kinda cool!

The video itself is pretty lackluster, you hear the word “fight” somewhere around the 30 second mark, followed by chants of “USA, USA”, then a short scuffle breaks out followed by a shirtless young man being handcuffed and whisked away. Really this is nothing we haven’t seen caught on “tape” before or the last time any of us went to a high school party. What makes it special is the fact that the event was recorded via Google Glass, a wearable recording device, that makes capturing video or surveillance a little bit easier, as these glasses can be mistaken for a typical fashion accessory. This is what has worried legislators from West Virginia and establishment owners in Seattle and Las Vegas, given this device is likely to become adopted by millions of users.

google glass arrest

But for now, few know about Google Glass which may of allowed the cameraman to get away with this recording in the first place.

According to Chris:

Only two people stopped me on the boardwalk, asking about Google Glass. I don’t think the general population knows what it is yet. I think if I had a bigger camera there, the kid would probably have punched 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. This is a huge step in citizen journalism. If Google Glass takes off, everyone’s going to have their entire life captured … first words, first steps … but also people getting shot, and natural disasters. I’ve always been about capturing stories and being a story-teller, so having a device that will change the way people capture stories is unbelievable.

Now whether or not this a good thing, only time will tell. It does give rise to a new opportunity for regular citizens to become journalists, but now are privacy is more likely to be compromised without our knowledge.
 
What do you think about Google Glass, are you going to get a pair? Do you think this is a good thing for journalism or another knock on privacy?

   
MrEnergyCzar
Public street. Reading texts while driving with those things should be interesting....
Laurinda Orlandi Bailey Handlik
I love the concept of not having to hold up a camera or cell phone but I do agree with Evi - where does "journalism" cross the line of "voyeurism".
Evi Kellerer
It's a public street. But where is the end of "journalism" and the beginning of voyeurism?
Adam Gman
I think that there is no expectation of privacy on a public street. But is it is clearly being filmed inside a location there should be a video of the person being recorded acknowleging that they know they are being recorded. Just like recorded phone calls.
Mike Ramirez
That was pretty uneventful, but it was good to see the Wildwood boardwalk. Haven't been there in over 20 years. "Watch the tram car please, watch the tram car please"...That still rings in my ears all these years later.
 
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