While we’ve never seen someone wearing a computer vision system in person, we’ve had the chance to imagine what it would be like, with recent examples like Google’s planned goggles. One man who invented and wears such a device to help him see says he was assaulted by three men at a McDonald’s in Paris, and managed to capture photographs of those involved. He’s known on the web as the “father of wearable computing.”
On Steve’s blog Eyetap, he explains the hardware he’s been sporting for 34 years in one form or another, that uses technology he invented. He explains that he carries a doctor’s note and documentation of the system when he travels. None of that prevented him from being assaulted at McDonald’s while visiting with his family, he claims.
His current system involves a strip of aluminum that runs across the forehead with two silicone nose pads.
It holds an EyeTap device (computer-controlled laser light source that causes the eye itself to function as if it were both a camera and display, in effect) in front of my right eye. It also gives the wearer the appearance of having a “glass eye”, this phenomenon being known as the “glass eye” effect.
He says he and his wife traveled to Paris with their children recently, and stopped in for food at a McDonald’s. He had the physician’s letter and documentation explaining his vision system with him, as they’d been visiting sights guarded by military and police. He showed that letter to an employee who stopped him in the McDonald’s line, and the family continued on to order their food and sat down in the restaurant. He then claims another employee assaulted him.
Subsequently another person within McDonalds physically assaulted me, while I was in McDonand’s, eating my McDonand’s Ranch Wrap that I had just purchased at this McDonald’s. He angrily grabbed my eyeglass, and tried to pull it off my head. The eyeglass is permanently attached and does not come off my skull without special tools.
I tried to calm him down and I showed him the letter from my doctor and the documentation I had brought with me. He (who I will refer to as Perpetrator 1) then brought me to two other persons. He was standing in the middle, right in front of me, and there was another person to my left seated at a table (who I will refer to as Perpetrator 2), and a third person to my right. The third person (who I will refer to as Perpetrator 3) was holding a broom and dustpan, and wearing a shirt with a McDonald’s logo on it. The person in the center (Perpetrator 1) handed the materials I had given him to the person to my left (Perpetrator 2), while the three of them reviewed my doctor’s letter and the documentation.
After all three of them reviewed this material, and deliberated on it for some time, Perpetrator 2 angrily crumpled and ripped up the letter from my doctor. My other documentation was also destroyed by Perpetrator 1.
Perpetrator 1 pushed me out the door, onto the street.
The system Steve wears processes imagery in a way that when the computer is damaged by a fall and hitting the ground, buffered pictures for processing remain in its memory. He offers those pictures up on his blog as evidence of the assault.
He says he’s tried to contact McDonald’s regarding the alleged assault, and hasn’t had any luck speaking with anyone who can help.
UPDATE: Consumerist tipster Bobby points out McDonald’s France Facebook page, which has a post that basically says the company is aware of the incident, and will be investigating it thoroughly.
*Thanks for the veritable flood of tips on this one, Consumerist readers!