Dr. Steve Mann is a professor at The University of Toronto. He is also the guy who just invented a wearable computer that you actually install into your skull. Dr. Mann’s system, called EyeTap, basically makes the user into a half-man, half computer. You can record conversations with images and video and store them for long-term use.
The video and images appear to have helped Dr. Mann, who claims that he was assaulted at a McDonald’s in Paris. After ordering on the Champs Elysees, Dr. Mann says that some of the McDonald’s employees took issue with his eye wear and accosted him.
Dr. Mann has documentation from his doctor claiming that the EyeTap can’t be removed without special tools and he keeps it with him when he travels, in case he is told to take them off. Mann says that he offered the documentation to the employees, but they failed to listen.
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.
In short, these McDonald’s employees harassed, intimidated, and damaged Mann nearly irrevocably. Ray Kurzweil, a well known futurist, calls this the first attack on a cyborg in history and Mann’s importances to the field of human-computer interaction can’t be measured.
McDonald’s did come back with a statement in response to Dr. Mann’s accusations:
“We share the concern regarding Dr. Mann’s account of his July 1 visit to a McDonald’s in Paris. McDonald’s France was made aware of Dr. Mann’s complaints on July 16, and immediately launched a thorough investigation. The McDonald’s France team has contacted Dr. Mann and is awaiting further information from him.In addition, several staff members involved have been interviewed individually, and all independently and consistently expressed that their interaction with Dr. Mann was polite and did not involve a physical altercation. Our crew members and restaurant security staff have informed us that they did not damage any of Mr. Mann’s personal possessions.
While we continue to learn more about the situation, we are hearing from customers who have questions about what happened. We urge everyone not to speculate or jump to conclusions before all the facts are known. Our goal is to provide a welcoming environment and stellar service to McDonald’s customers around the world.”
The problem for McDonald’s is that they forgot that they were hearing from a guy who wears a recording device attached to his skull. Dr. Mann then released an image showing the McDonald’s employee clearly touching him during the incident. Not sure what McDonald’s is going to say about that one.