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Google Glass for buyers' eyes only -- lending and selling prohibited

April 18, 2013|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • The terms of service for early versions of Google Glass say buyers cannot sell their new device to others.
The terms of service for early versions of Google Glass say buyers cannot… (Google )

The first buyers of Google Glass are starting to get the smartglasses in the mail, letting them shoot hands-free video, pull up GPS directions in the corner of their eye and even hold video chats with their friends while they walk.

But they won't be allowed to let anyone else enjoy the device and its features.

In its terms of service for the early "Explorer Edition" of the device, Google says it has the right to deactivate any device if it has been sold or lent to someone else.

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"You may not resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person," the terms posted online say. "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."

Google says that these terms are specifically for the early version of Glass, so they may change by the time the device goes on sale to the general public. But for now, Google says it simply wants the first users to use the device, not anyone else.

Even though it is not saying so, one reason for the prohibition may be to keep the device from competitors. Another may be to prevent buyers from reselling the highly sought device at exorbitant prices.

At least one user who was selected to purchase the $1,500 smartglasses in a February contest posted the right to his device up for auction on EBay, according to Wired. Bidding on his Glass was already up to $90,000 when he stopped the auction after learning from others that reselling the device was against the terms of service. Now, the would-be seller told Wired that he hopes Google doesn't hold it against him and still sells him the device.

With Google shipping the early versions of the device this week, more information about them as well as the restrictions are surfacing on the Web. For example, Glass won't be fully functional, meaning it won't have GPS capabilities or be able to send or receive texts if it is connected with an iPhone. It's fully functional when using a smartphone running Google's Android operating system.

The restrictions on reselling and on its capabilities with an iPhone may change before the device rolls out to the general public.

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