On July 4, a fight broke out on the Jersey Shore boardwalk. Documentary filmmaker Chris Barrett happend to be wearing his Glass at the time — and what he recorded may go down as the first arrest ever caught with the device.
It's not the most spectacular video we've ever seen, but it's likely the first of what will be an emerging trend — the capturing of important and sensitive incidents with wearable devices; the age of ubiquitous surveillance is all but upon us.
Unlike camera phones, Google Glass can autonomously and (somewhat) surreptitiously capture POV videos. And once battery technology improves, these devices could conceivably record our environments 24/7 (currently, battery life for video mode is only about one hour).
Privacy as we know it could soon come to an end. But as I've argued before, this could actually be construed as a good thing in some contexts.
John Koetsier, who spoke to Barrett, points out some other interesting implications:
“I think if I had a bigger camera there, the kid would probably have punched me,” Barrett told 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.”
Barrett thinks it’s a revolution in citizen journalism and perhaps even documentary film-making. It’s certainly continuing the change that cheap portable video recording equipment has been ushering in ever since Rodney King — and probably stepping it up a notch, too.
“This is a huge step in citizen journalism,” Barrett said. “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.”