Your plan to simply buy your way into the Google Glass early-adopter contest has been foiled. On Wednesday morning an eBay auction immediately began raising eyebrows for how much bidders were driving up its price, which reached $15,900 — more than ten times the headset's approximate $1,500 price tag Google sources confirmed last week — before it vanished from the site a few hours later. The number was high enough to dash the hopes of many gadget obsessives, as Google has finally confirmed a release date around the holidays and begun to promote everything its headset of the future can actually do, with a plan to give away 8,000 pairs next month. But the auction itself, from a seller named seller "bla7kcat," inspired more than a little skepticism before either the user removed it or Google and eBay took it down.
See, the seller didn't actually own the headset yet. From the auction's description (all sic):
I've been selected as an early adapter for Google's upcoming release. you are buying a brand new unopened pair of Google's Project Glass glasses. i will be personally attending and picking up my pair in either Los Angeles, or New York at Google's Project Glass launch event, which will take place some time after Feburary 27th.
Thing is, Google doesn't have its early adopters sorted out yet. Now, it's still possible that "bla7kcat" was in fact a Google insider who is entitled to a headset. But that's unlikely: "bla7kcat" indicated that he or she would be required to pay $1,500 for the headset like the rest of the entrants who will be chosen by Google for as one of 8,000 early recipients through its #ifihadglass contest. According to the Project Glass website, Google hasn't begun selecting volunteers. (They'll start sorting through applications tomorrow, after the entry period closes on Wednesday, and notify winners in mid-March.) It didn't seem like someone with the seller's foreknowledge of obtaining a Glass headset — e.g., a Google employee — would also be required to pay for it, or be required to enter a company-sponsored contest in the first place. (Indeed, the terms of the Glass contest specifically prohibit Google employees from entering it.)
Here's a screenshot of the auction for posterity:
And here's the description:
i am selling a pair of Google Glasses (Project Glass glasses). I've been selected as an early adapter for Google's upcoming release. you are buying a brand new unopened pair of Google's Project Glass glasses. i will be personally attending and picking up my pair in either Los Angeles, or New York at Google's Project Glass launch event, which will take place some time after Feburary 27th. as for what colors will actually be available, will vary, if i am offered a choice, I will choose the color of your choice (see listing picture for variants). my cost to buy my glasses is $1,500 (USD), so obviously thats where ive started the auction at. Project Glass will be shipped with Insurance at my expence, and signature upon delivery, so please use an address you can accept delivery in person.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.