It happens: Once upon a time, people walked in public wearing a facial video recording computer on their heads. Only this time, the Face Computer is being sold by Meta, not Google.
Say hello to Meta’s Glassholes.
Over the weekend, as buyers got their first hands-on time with the new Meta Quest 3 headset, some began posting videos of themselves interacting with the real world. instead of From playing games.
Sure, it’s cool to blast low-poly baddies breaching your walls, but isn’t it technically impressive that Meta’s new headset allows you to do just that? Cook the meal or Sweep your floors Or enjoy Fine coffee on a beautiful day Without ever taking the device off? This is what Quest 3’s full-color passthrough video allows for.
It didn’t take long for people to start pushing boundaries – both technologically and socially. Jay Mayo walked into the hall at Comic-Con in New York With the headset turned on, you can record clips of strangers along the way.
And in the video you’ve already seen at the top of this post, XR and AI supporter Cix Liv almost completely hacked Glasshole by walking straight into a café in San Francisco and placing an order, without bothering to hide the café’s address.
Here’s the video again:
I spoke to Ray Ng, co-owner of Fiddle Fig Cafe, the café in question, and he thought it was just “laughable and funny”. Ng says Lev didn’t sit down and drink his coffee with his headphones on. “They took the player, sat down, and that was it,” he told me over the phone. The whole thing was over in “maybe 5 minutes”.
But this won’t necessarily stop other attention seekers from following in Lev’s footsteps, and they may even encourage each other. “Now I don’t feel bad walking around with headphones during comics.” May responded to Livafter the artist who filmed himself walking around New York Comic-Con saw Cafe Liv’s video.
We’ve been through it all before, of course — a decade ago, public opinion turned against Google Glass, with public employers in particular coming out against the technology. Restaurants, movie theaters, casinos, bars and other public establishments have outright banned the headphones — a woman was allegedly assaulted for wearing Google Glass in San Francisco, and an XR patron was assaulted in Paris while using a similar-looking device.
But that was a decade ago, and I said last year that our definition of privacy, our tolerance for public photography, and our resistance to wearable technology have all changed dramatically since Google first introduced Glass. Maybe there won’t be a problem this time? Ubiquitous smartphone cameras are now the norm, and small businesses often take advantage of impactful components; Ng was good about naming the Fiddle Fig Cafe in this story.
I wonder if the Meta is ready for the Quest 3 to be the glass-hole headset of choice. While the company has put a lot of thought into making sure its eyeglass-like Ray-Bans don’t fall into the same trap – posting privacy explanations and… Instructions on using these glasses in public placesincluding proactively letting people know you’re recording — Quest 3 doesn’t appear to have similar published guidelines.
It’s also difficult for passers-by to know when the Quest 3 is recording. It simply pulses with a white light, slowly, and it is The light is already on by default. When I asked my wife if she thought I was recording, she said she had no idea.
Then again, if I saw someone walking into a coffee shop with a bulging white object over their face equipped with multiple camera holes, I would automatically assume they were recording absolutely everything.
Meta did not respond to a request for comment.
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