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How Vice’s Tim Pool used Google Glass to cover Istanbul protests

July 31, 2013


Tim Pool used Google Glass when reporting on the Istanbul protests for Vice

Tim Pool used Google Glass when reporting on the Istanbul protests for Vice

What is Google Glass good for, beyond showing off at technology conferences? Google’s augmented eyewear has plenty of sceptics, but here’s one scenario:

“When there’s a wall of police firing plastic bullets at you, and you’re running through a wall of tear-gas, having your hands free to cover your face, while saying ‘OK Glass, record a video’, makes that recording process a lot… easier,” says Tim Pool.

Pool has been using Glass for his livestreaming coverage of recent protests in Istanbul, Cairo and Brazil for Vice in 2013, but he’s been doing what he calls “mobile first-person” journalism since 2011, and the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York.

His livestreams attracted more than 750,000 unique viewers in a single day at the height of those protests, when police were clearing people out of their Occupy camp and trying to keep professional journalists away.

Now he’s finding audiences for his livestreams and videos through Vice’s online network.

“After two years covering politics, technology, hackers and conflict-y stuff, a lot of companies had been interested, but had said ‘we know what you do, we think it’s awesome, would you like to do something else?’,” says Pool.

“Vice were the first company to say ‘we know exactly what you do, we think it’s awesome, and we want you to do more of it.”

Pool’s first assignment for Vice had been due to be the G8 summit, and the likely protests around it. But then riots started in Istanbul, leading to a change of plan.

And two days before leaving for Turkey, Pool’s Glass arrived, after he’d been accepted for Google’s Glass Explorer early-adopters programme earlier in the year.

“As soon as I saw Google Glass, I realised that it would allow me to do what I always do with this first-person live recording, but my hands would be free,” he says.

“I don’t want to stand filming in front of the water cannon and guys with Molotovs. I want to show you what it’s like to be there as best I can, even if that ends with me running full-speed into a cafe and rubbing lemons all over my face after being tear-gassed.” Read more at The Guardian.


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