Every so often there's a tale of a developer unit, or some class of technology-related item that's difficult to come by, finding its way onto eBay. Not long ago, the focus was on tickets to the Apple developer's conference, but today it's a little something different. A Google (News - Alert) Glass unit managed to find its way to eBay recently, and the bidding promptly soared the price of one of the units well above what anyone might have foreseen.
Google recently offered up some of its Glass wearable computing devices for $1500 apiece, available on kind of a lottery system in which Google set out to select a few users to buy the devices ahead of their ultimate release. One of these users was, at last report, an eBay (News - Alert) user by the name of "bla7kcat" who posted that he--or potentially she--had been selected as an early adopter, and would subsequently be offering the device up to the highest bidder following the acceptance of said device at a Google Project Glass launch event.
The auction reportedly reached fully $15,500--or just over 10 times Google's asking price--before it was pulled for reasons that are as yet unclear. Indeed, a search of eBay showed that user "bla7kcat" has absolutely zero auctions in process, and that the original auction, listed as "Item 221192598719" was no longer available on eBay. The user known as "bla7kcat" may have ultimately fallen prey to a clause in Google's contest rules that states: "Google reserves the right to disqualify you from #ifihadglass if, in Google’s sole discretion, it reasonably believes that you have attempted to undermine the legitimate operation of #ifihadglass by cheating, deception, or other unfair playing practices…", which might well have ultimately killed the auction by taking away that which "bla7kcat" was trying to sell in the first place.
While agreeing to sell off said Glass unit before even getting hands on it may not seem like it falls under "cheating, deception or other unfair playing practices," chances are that Google wouldn't much care for users gaming the system in such a fashion, especially given that this particular event was likely supposed to build a little pre-launch mystique.
Considering that even "Star Trek: The Next Generation" star LeVar Burton--Geordi La Forge for those who favor the character name--was recently spotted throwing his hat into the Google Glass ring via a simple tweet that declared the Google Glass "a downgrade" against the VISOR unit he popularized, the thought of a "If I Had Glass" winner doing something so crass as tossing it up on eBay unopened likely gave Google a note of pause.
One thing, however, is clear: Google Glass has some serious attention in the marketplace. Who knows? This may ultimately prove to be the "iPhone (News - Alert) killer" that markets have been frantically searching for ever since there was an iPhone to kill. Only time will tell how it all works out, but things are about to get very exciting indeed in wearable computing.
Edited by Brooke Neuman