Google Glass: Fees, ads and virtual currency are banned from Explorer Edition

Google Glass: Fees, ads and virtual currency are banned from Explorer Edition

Summary: Under Google's current terms and conditions, Google Glass is for developers' inspiration and not for making money - yet.

TOPICS: Hardware, Apps, Google

Developers hoping to monetise their 'Glassware' for Google Glass will have to wait for the networked specs' terms of service to change.

Google is keeping a tight rein on Glass developers with a clear list of do's and don'ts for the product's Explorer Edition. The rules are outlined in the Google Mirror API terms of service released on Tuesday.

In-app advertising might be a common way to monetise products in the smartphone software industry, but on Glass it's a no-no. Under the Glass terms and conditions, developers are also forbidden from collecting user data from an Mirror API client and selling or transmitting that via third-party ad-networks and data brokers.

Also see: 10 things about Google Glass: Could this be Google's iPad?

Unlike Android, there will be no unofficial stores for Glass apps. Glassware can only be distributed through Google's as yet unnamed Google-hosted Mirror API Client distribution channel. Google does reserve the right to make an exception at some point, however.

Google has also outlawed collecting payments and fees of any kind to use and access Glassware, including virtual currencies - a sanction that applies to users as well as developers.

Developers are free to build gambling Glassware, for example, and may offer simulated winnings, but users should not be able to convert these outside the application to a transferable virtual good, virtual currency, or money.

The revenue models suited to smartphones would no doubt compromise Google's ambition for Glassware to be inspirational, clean and non-intrusive experience, as it describes in the Mirror API overview for developers — it's encouraging apps that don't have too frequent or loud notifications, for example. The experience it wants, as it has outlined previously, are for developers to design specifically Glass rather than adapting existing apps to the new form factor.

And, of course, it's early days yet for Glass, and terms and conditions for the product could well be updated in the future. A Google product without advertising? It doesn't bear thinking about.

Topics: Hardware, Apps, Google

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Good foresight on this policy by Google

    With a bit of regulation, Google glasses will be a game changer.

    Irrespective of what people that oppose it may think.
    • However, "open" approach will bring ads, viruses, trojans to this

      And this is going to be a HELL; sometimes even dangerous one.
      • It's not open

        You can't write native code for glasses.

        You have to uses HTML to display content.
    • It will not be a game changer.

      None of the use cases that people keep touting seem even vaguely interesting and when you wear it, you look like a big dork. What's the upside?

      You can read a restaurant review when you're standing outside looking at the restaurant? You can just look in the window and see if it's busy.

      This idea is as dumb and unnecessary as the iWatch. Possibly dumber.
  • Google has to remember

    Competition, and there will be competition, often changes "rules" very quickly. On top of that, trying to "force" developers to follow the party line rarely if ever works. Developers tend to go their own way regardless of what the mother ship dictates.
    • Funny

      You said "On top of that, trying to "force" developers to follow the party line rarely if ever works. Developers tend to go their own way regardless of what the mother ship dictates."

      It works for Apple. If you don't comply to their guidelines, your app doesn't get into the iTunes Store. I'd say that's forcing the developers to follow the party line.
      • True....

        But now Apple has a ton of competition and developers are taking advantage of it.
        • Yet Apple is enforcing the rules now more than ever.

          Take a moment to read about AppGratis, and how Apple removed it from the App Store based on a loose interpretation of their rules.
  • So, basically, Google wants to

    be the only one that can mine data and sell you stuff through their glasses.
    • Shssss...

      No one is supposed to be smart enough to see that.

      so they will be the ones to maximize profits.
  • I "see" an excellent "pairing" in the future.

    Next Google needs to make a 3D Chromebook Pixel and/or Nexus tablet to go with it.
    Richard Estes
  • Jailbreak

    how long before the jailbreak kit comes out