While it might be extremely amusing to loan your brand-spankin’-new Google Glass eye wear to Grandma for the entire day, it’s ill-advised by Google.
Google Glass’ terms of service actually has a clause that threatens to deactivate the wearable computing device should you transfer, resell, or loan it out to a friend with out Google’s explicit authorization. The clause may seem a bit harsh for a device that you actually own (especially considering the high $1,500 pricetag), but Google is being very choosy about who it gives the eyewear to the first place. The company previously rescinded a slew of invitations to its Google Glass explorer program after finding out some of the entrants were breaking the rules.
The device is also not expected to be released to consumers until late 2013, meaning the company is still testing and altering things behind the scenes, which is much harder to do if you can’t control who’s actually using it. Google Glass does many of the same things you do with your smartphone, such as snapping pictures, recording video, displaying augmented reality user interfaces, and communicating with others. (Check out the full specs here.)
While I’m not a fan of any company who tries to police the devices it sells after its sent to consumers, I sort of understand where Google is coming from on this one. Without the threat of deactivation, early adopters and developers could easily throw the device on eBay to make them several thousands of dollars. In fact, Wired is actually reporting an instance of a Google Glass owner actually doing this very thing — starting the eBay auction at $5,000 and closing at over $9,000. And the people who would buy those devices would be getting a broken experience, not to mention one less app or service since the original owner of the device abandoned it.
Photo credit: Project Glass/Google+
Like this story? Want to learn more? On April 14-15, our fourth annual VentureBeat Mobile Summit will tackle the six biggest growth opportunities in mobile today. The invitation-only Summit will gather the top 180 executives at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, Calif., to discuss issues like this. Request an invitation.