While the first batch of Google Glass is currently being shipped to those who pre-ordered the device, there are a number of riders put in place by the search giant to control who gets the first action from Glass.
The Terms Of Sale for Glass throw up some interesting restrictions. Google has barred anyone who has got their hands on the $1,500 Google Glass Explorer Edition from re-selling, loaning out or transferring the highly coveted device.
The company’s terms and conditions on the limited-edition wearable clearly state: “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.”
Sharing is (not) caring
Google has not kept such a tight lid over distribution of their products before. Of course, since Glass is only the second Google-manufactured hardware product, after the Chromebook Pixel, there is no precedent for such a restriction by the company. End-user agreements generally go through scrutiny by the legal and technical teams, so Google’s restrictions on the usage of Glass are legitimate, if slightly draconian.
“If it takes off like iPhones did, this is going to be part of people’s everyday activity, and now we are starting down this path that is going to be completely controlled,” Corynne McSherry, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s intellectual property coordinator was quoted as saying by Wired. “It’s not clear to me what they are doing is unlawful. It’s a contract issue,” McSherry added.
Google keeps a track of who is using Glass and will know if the eyewear is transferred because each device is registered under the buyer’s Google account. That dashes the hopes of those wanting to make a quick buck on sites like eBay with their pre-ordered Explorer Edition.
Google’s tight rein over who can use Glass could change in the future as the device hits mass production and gains wider acceptance. For now, though, if you are a lucky owner of Glass, then erase any thoughts of sharing it with the world.
Besides applying restrictions on those who own Glass, Google has also urged developers to follow certain guidelines when designing apps for the device. Besides making sure users aren’t annoyed by loud and frequent notifications, Google has asked developers to not include ads in their programmes and keep their apps free for the initial run.
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