By Marty Graham
SAN DIEGO Jan 16 A California woman ticketed
for driving while wearing Google Glass, a tiny computer mounted
on an eyeglass frame, had her citation dismissed on Thursday by
a San Diego court commissioner who said he found no proof the
device was operating at the time.
The case, which raises new questions about distracted
driving, made headlines when technology entrepreneur Cecilia
Abadie, one of thousands of people testing the device for Google
Inc, was stopped for speeding in October by the
California Highway Patrol on Interstate 15 in San Diego.
The officer then gave her a second citation for using a
visual "monitor" in her car while driving, in what the Highway
Patrol said was a violation of state law.
Court Commissioner John Blair said he was dismissing the
citation against Abadie, 44, on the grounds of a lack of proof
that her Google Glass was turned on at the time.
"There is no testimony it was operating or in use while Ms.
Abadie was driving," he said during the hearing.
Blair also dismissed a speeding ticket against Abadie,
because an expert did not appear to testify to the calibration
on the officer's speedometer. Blair said there was a lack of
evidence to establish Abadie's driving speed.
Google Glass, which projects a small screen in the corner of
a wearer's eye, is expected to become a major catalyst for what
many believe to be the next big trend in mobile, wearable
Developers are already crafting apps to try to position
themselves if the devices, which can be voice- or
motion-activated, prove popular with consumers. Abadie said she
is developing such apps, and she said she transmitted live video
of herself talking to reporters outside court on Thursday.
EXPLORER ON A MISSION
Highway Patrol Officer Keith Odle testified that he
estimated Abadie had been driving her Toyota Prius at 85 miles
per hour (137 km/h) in a 65 mph (105 km/h) zone when he pulled
Odle said he had not been planning to cite Abadie for
wearing Google Glass, but that he did so because of her reaction
to his questions. "She got a little argumentative about whether
or not it was legal for her to wear them," he said.
Abadie, a Southern California entrepreneur who works
independently to develop Web and mobile apps, gained widespread
attention in October when she quickly posted the news of her
ticket on social media.
"A cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing
Google Glass while driving!" she wrote on the Google Plus social
She said outside the court after the ruling on Thursday that
Google Glass does not give drivers any "blind spot."
"I believe we have to start experimenting with devices like
this," Abadie told reporters. "As a hands-free device it is
safer than a cell phone."
Blair had said during the hearing that Google Glass "falls
within the purview and intent" of the ban on driving with a
monitor enacted by the California legislature.
The device is not yet available for sale to the general
public, although the company is testing the product with the
help of thousands of so-called "Explorers" who have been given
early access to the technology. It is expected to come to market
later this year.
"Glass is built to connect you more with the world around
you, not distract you from it," Google said in a statement.
Explorers should "always use Glass responsibly and put their
safety and the safety of others first," the company said.