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Lawmaker tries to ban drivers from wearing Google Glass

West Virginia legislator proposes amending no-texting-while-driving law to include wearable computers

A West Virginia state legislator is looking to amend a no-texting-while-driving law by also banning drivers from using computerized glasses.

If the proposal passes, Google Glass would be outlawed for drivers in the state before the technology hit the market.

West Virginia state Rep. Gary G. Howell introduced the legislation late last week. It would prohibit drivers on public streets or highways from using a wearable computer with a head mounted display.

House Bill 3057 describes, but does not name, the Google Glass computerized eye glasses.

However, CNN.com reported that Howell said he amended the law after reading an article about the Glass product.

The Google wearable computer, which is still in development, is designed to use a transparent display over the right lens to display search information, maps, emails. Google Glass is also designed to take pictures, shoot video, upload information to a social network and other things.

Google Glass is geared to respond to voice, touch and gesture.

The West Virginia Republican legislator's bill follows the banning of the technology from a Seattle cafe.

In a blog post, the 5 Points Cafe and Bar warned potential customers: "If you're one of the few who are planning on going out and spending your savings on Google Glasses -- what will for sure be a new fad for the fanny-pack wearing, never removing your bluetooth headset-wearing crowd -- plan on removing them before you enter The 5 Point. The 5 Point is officially a No Google Glass zone."

Though Glass isn't yet available, Google announced Wednesday that it has chosen "several thousand" people to test the technology.

The so-called " Glass explorers" applied by listing ways in which they would use the Glass product.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

Read more about emerging technologies in Computerworld's Emerging Technologies Topic Center.


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