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McDonald's worker attacks augmented reality researcher

updated 01:20 pm EDT, Tue July 17, 2012

Professor wearing permanent digital eye glass writes about attack

Staff at a McDonald's restaurant in Paris allegedly attacked a man for using a wearable computer, according to a blog post by the victim. Dr. Steve Mann, creator of the EyeTap Digital Eye Glass, claims staff members of the fast food chain attempted to pull the augmented reality device from his head, despite it being permanently attached to his head, although it was not explained why the attack took place.

The blog explains that Steve took the device--worn for 13 years--on a family vacation to France. On July 1 he went to the Champs Elysees branch of McDonald's, and was stopped by a member of staff who questioned the device. Documentation for the device, along with a letter from his doctor, were presented to the staff member, who allowed them to place their order. While eating, an angry staff member grabbed the spyglass and tried to pull it from his head, but failed as it can only be removed from Steve's skull using special tools. Attempts to pacify the assailant by presenting the documentation failed, as he tore the papers apart. Upon throwing Steve out of the restaurant, the EyeTap was damaged and kept a buffer of images stored for later viewing. These images were published in the blog post, although faces were censored to protect identities.

Steve has reportedly attempted to contact his embassy, consulate, and police with no luck in sorting out the matter. Contacting McDonald's for a response are also said to have failed. Users of Reddit have taken an interest in the case, which prompted McDonald's to respond on Twitter and Facebook that it will be investigating the event internally.

Images of the EyeTap device bear a striking similarity to Project Glass, although the image of Steve Mann's creation dates back to 1999. The restaurant staff's umbrage at being filmed by the device is viewed as an indication that Google's headwear may be involved in incidents.

by MacNN Staff



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