Caesars Palace deals Google Glass out of its game

Another business bans Glass about a year before it's expected to become generally available

A year before Google's futuristic-looking, computerized eyeglasses are expected to hit the market, they have been banned -- again.

A Caesars Palace casino spokesman today told Computerworld that people wearing the Google Glass technology won't be allowed in the casino.

"Gaming regulations prohibit the use of computers or recording devices by persons who are gambling," said Gary Thompson, a spokesman for Caesars, in an email. "Therefore, individuals wearing Google Glass would not be allowed to gamble. If they attempted to do so, would be subject to arrest under various state gaming regulations."

Some gamblers have long tried to use computers and recording devices to gain an unfair advantage at the gaming tables.

"There have been numerous incidents around the country in which people have used computers or cameras secreted elsewhere to keep track of cards in blackjack games," Thompson said. "When they were caught, they went to jail."

Google said every new technology generates new questions, legal and otherwise.

"It's early and we are thinking very carefully about how we design Glass. New technology always raises new issues," said a Google spokesman.

"Our Glass Explorer program, which reaches people from all walks of life, will ensure that our users become active participants in shaping the future of this technology," the spokesman added. The Glass Explorer program is an early adoper program that lets developers and others use the technology, for a price.

Caesars isn't the first business to say "no thanks" to Glass.

Seattle's 5 Points Cafe and Bar in March announced a no Google Glass policy.

In a blog post, the cafe said: "If you're one of the few who are planning on going out and spending your savings on Google Glasses -- what will for sure be a new fad for the fanny-pack wearing, never removing your bluetooth headset-wearing crowd -- plan on removing them before you enter The 5 Point. The 5 Point is officially a No Google Glass zone."

Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group, said he's not surprised that the Glass bans are starting so early.

"People see Google Glass as either an invasion of personal privacy, or even a threat to their commercial businesses," he said. "Google Glass is already prompting more thought and discussion about what's private and what isn't. While people are already routinely recorded while going about their business in public places and businesses, they've been mostly oblivious."

All of this is hitting well before Glass is ready to ship.

Late last month, Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, said Glass' general availability is still about a year away.

Meanwhile, about 8,000 Glass Explorers are expecting to begin testing the technology soon.

Google I/O, the company's annual developer conference, is set to open next week in San Francisco. Developers and members of the press are eager to see what Google executives have to say about the project, as well as to see prototypes of it.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

Read more about emerging technologies in Computerworld's Emerging Technologies Topic Center.

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Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
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