It seemed like just the right case to start the public debate on driving-while-#GlassExploing: Google Glass aficionada Cecilia Abadie was snagged doing 80 in a 65 on a San Diego freeway while wearing the device. (Clearly, the real headline here should be: Attractive Woman Wears Nerd Glasses: Only In California.) The CHP ticketed her for the speed and also for “driving with a monitor visible in violation of California Vehicle Code 27602.”
Miss Abadie did not deny wearing the glasses.
When it came time to face the court, Ms. Abadie denied that she was speeding but proudly admitted to wearing The Glasses Of The Future. The stage was set to wrangle out of the future of heads-up device use in the United States… but then a San Diego court commissioner dismissed both the monitor-watching and the speeding charges, saying that he could find no evidence that Ms. Abadie was using the Google Glasses while driving. Insofar as Ms. Abadie clearly stated that she was doing so, this amounts to case allergy on the part of the court. One can almost imagine the anonymous commissioner washing his hands while some Pharisees watch him do it. (What’s the modern equivalent of a Pharisee? An intellectual-property attorney?)
Your humble author is very much looking forward to seeing some actual court rulings on this matter, because it places two of California’s favorite things into uncomfortable juxtaposition. On one hand, there’s the official state policy that looking at anything from a 27″ Curtis-Mathes to the externally-mounted fiber-optic turn-signal notifiers on one’s Eldorado constitutes attempted murder via distracted driving. On the other hand, there’s the fact that Google in its infinite political power wishes to make the Google Glass a permanent wearable for everyone. No doubt politicians will be thrashing around in their beds at night, wondering if acting against Google Glass will cause their names to appear in election-year search autocompletes with “molester of infant goats”. Let the games begin!