One of the first Google Glass owners nearly made a spectacle of himself when he put his high-tech specs on eBay and discovered that Google can kill the gadget if you try to sell them -- as gadget fans offered up to £60,000 for the digital spectacles.
The first Google Glass Explorer Edition glasses are being handed out to a small selection of celebrities and gadget fans as a sort of trial -- but one enterprising Glassee saw dollar signs in his eyes rather than an augmented reality display.
Speaking to Wired, the hapless Glass-seller -- known only as Ed -- didn't really enter into the spirit of the Explorer Edition trial, figuring he could "sell it for a lot more than $1,500" -- the asking price of the specs.
The sale started at more than £3,000 and although bids quickly reached £60,000, Ed hastily ended the eBay auction when he discovered the terms and conditions stating Google could remotely shut down Glass if the device changed hands.
“You may not resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person," says Google in the terms and conditions of Glass. "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."
Blimey. We can understand Google wanting to keep some control of a small test group, but it does highlight a bigger issue: do you own stuff you've bought?
Manufacturers are increasingly attempting to keep a grip on the products they've made even after you've bought and paid for them. Many software applications and music downloaded from iTunes, for example, are technically rented rather than owned, with the blessing of the courts, thanks to cases involving software such as Autodesk.
And Google isn't the first to try and keep a grip on hardware after you've forked over your cash. Take Apple's insistence that you don't jailbreak the iPhone, or recent US laws that prohibit unlocking a mobile phone to use it on a different network.
Should Google have the right to control Glass after you've bought it, or once money's changed hands should you be able to do what you want with your property? Is Glass a gimmick, or could gadget glasses catch on? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.