Whenever a product is made available to a select group of people before the general public, some beta testers attempt to sell their pre-production unit on eBay to bring in a few extra dollars. Google Glass is currently available to developers who attended Google I/O 2012, as well as winners of the #ifihadglass competition on Google+ and Twitter. Units started shipping out to some people earlier this week, and as you would expect, several pair of Google Glass have already appeared on eBay, but Google says it will not allow that to continue.
In the terms of service for the Explorer Edition of Google Glass, the company explains that “you may not resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person. If you resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person without Google’s authorization, Google reserves the right to deactivate the device, and neither you nor the unauthorized person using the device will be entitled to any refund, product support, or product warranty.” Basically, should Google notice that your Google Glasses have changed hands, then it will deactivate the device and your warranty will be void.
I can see why Google is doing this, though. The Explorer Edition of the glassware is meant mainly for developers to use to test apps for the product, and for a few general tech fans to test and use everyday. The profit to be made selling Glass is shockingly huge, with one pair of Glass exceeding $5,000 on eBay before being removed. Like it or not, the central focus of most people is money, and that’s exactly what popped into one man’s head when he was selected as a winner of the #ifihadglass competition. “After getting a message on Twitter from Google saying I had been selected as part of the program a couple of weeks ago, it just came to mind if they are giving out to a limited number of people, I could put it out there on eBay and sell it for a lot more than $1,500,” said Ed, a winner of Google’s competition. He said it would have been “exciting to get $100,000 for something that only costs $1,500.” That $100k number seems a bit up there to me, but we’ll never know.
How strictly Google will enforce this rule remains to be seen, but for the time being, it looks like most of us will be unable to purchase Glass until the general consumer launch later this year.