The University of Toronto’s Dr. Steve Mann has claimed that he was assaulted in a Paris McDonald’s because he was wearing a pair of augmented reality eyeglasses.
Similar to Google’s Project Glass, Dr. Mann’s EyeTap Digital Eye Glass is a wearable computing system. He has been wearing some version of this computerized vision system for more than 30 years and always carries documentation about the device and a letter from his physician.
Mann describes the glasses as “computer-controlled laser light source that causes the eye itself to function as if it were both a camera and display.” However, unlike Google’s Project Glass, Mann’s Eyetap is permanently attached to his head and can only be removed using the correct tools.
In a blog entry posted on Monday, Mann claims that he showed McDonald’s employees the documentation for his EyeTap and was allowed into the restaurant, however an assailant then tried to rip the device from his head, damaging it in the process and then physically forced him out of the restaurant. He claims that he tried to show the assailant his documentation, which they attempted to rip up.
He does not directly state that the people who assaulted him were McDonald’s employees however he does hint strongly towards this being the case, stating that one of his assailants was wearing a t-shirt that had the McDonald’s logo on it and another was carrying a dustpan and brush.
Mann’s glasses may prove integral in getting to the bottom of the strange attack, as they captured pictures of the assailants and of several witnesses in the restaurant. He has posted these pictures on his website with the faces blacked out, presumably to avoid any potential lawsuits.
So far however, Mann has been unsuccessful in his attempts to get his assailants identified and does not seem particularly interested pursuing any kind of legal action against McDonald’s, however he is hoping that they will be able to provide him with some answers. He said:
“I’m not seeking to be awarded money. I just want my Glass fixed, and it would also be nice if McDonald’s would see fit to support vision research…I don’t have the resources to take on a branch of a large multi-national corporation operating in a distant country, but I could use some help and advice as to how to resolve this matter, how to ensure it doesn’t happen again to me or anyone else wearing Eye Glass, and what can be done to advance Digital Eye Glass research in not just the technological realm, but also the realm of social responsibility and culture….”
Man Allegedly Assaulted in Paris McDonald’s Over Augmented Reality Headset (Via The Verge)