Google Glass has been available to early adopters for nearly nine months, and some merchants are doing their best to keep it out of their establishments. Nick Starr, a network engineer in Seattle, learned that the hard way this month on a visit to the Lost Lake Cafe, a 24-hour diner in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. According to Starr, he had eaten at the cafe several times while wearing Glass, but on his last visit was asked to remove the $1,500 headset or leave. Starr demanded to see a written policy banning Glass, but when the server held her ground he left. "I would love an explanation, apology, clarification," Starr wrote on Facebook, "and if the staff member was in the wrong and lost the owner money last night and also future income as well, that this income be deducted from her pay or her termination."
"We want our customers to feel comfortable."
It turns out that Starr had walked into an establishment owned by one of the more vocal anti-Glass restaurateurs. Lost Lake owner David Meinert made headlines in March when he preemptively banned Glass from another establishment he owns, Seattle's 5 Point Cafe. In a follow-up interview with Forbes, Meinert said he recently had a staff meeting at Lost Lake telling all servers to ask anyone wearing Glass to remove it. "It's about privacy," Jason Lajeunesse, Meinert's business partner, told Forbes. "It's one thing to take out a camera and capture a moment, people see you doing it, they have a chance to step out if they want to. With Glass people don't have a chance to do that. We want our customers to feel comfortable, not like they're being watched."
In his Facebook post, Starr notes that Lost Lake's menu encourages customers to take pictures at the cafe and post them on Instagram. Is wearing Glass really all that different? The debate is far from over — and with Glass expected to enter mass production next year, it may actually be just beginning.