With Glass Explorers getting their Google Glass units in the mail starting this week you’re bound to see a unit or two find its way onto online marketplace eBay. One listing was found earlier with an asking price of £100,000, though it was promptly removed. Whoever posted it may not have removed it because they set the initial price too high — it may be because of the terms of sale tied to the product that have come to light.
According to Google’s terms, users are not allowed to resell, loan, transfer, or give their Glass unit to any other individual without Google’s authorization. Should a user get caught breaking that rule Google reserves the rights to permanently deactivate the device and refuse to support it and service it under warranty. That’s a pretty extreme condition to adhere to, though it’s not entirely surprising.
The Google Glass Explorers program isn’t your typical consumer launch. It’s a costly beta, of sorts, and Google’s intention was to give developers and enthusiasts a chance to own one to start “exploring” with it ahead of launch. It’s not exactly a prototype anymore, but it’s also not supposed to be in the hands of anyone but those who Google decided can have one. Thus, such after-market regulation isn’t as taboo as it might be for any other product.
I highly doubt these terms will hold up for the consumer retail launch later this year, but the possibility exists. We’ll be reaching out to Google for a statement on the clause and to see if they plan to stick with it after the general launch, but I wouldn’t let this ruin the excitement that comes along with ushering in the next era of wearable computing.