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Google buys ‘OK Glass’ domain secretly using ‘man in the middle’ strategy

“OK Glass. What is the name of this cutie?”

“OK Glass. What is the name of this cutie?”

Google let the public get a small glimpse of its upcoming product, the Google Glass – a wearable device that incorporates a head-up display (HUD) and camera.

Even though all this might have sounded futuristic a decade ago, the Google Glass project intends to bring the device to the public at an affordable price. Currently, the estimated launch price is around the $1,500 mark.

In the official demonstration stills, the command issued to the device via voice recognition, is “OK Glass“. This command “wakes up” the device to perform a series of tasks, such as take a picture, record a video or do a search.

Google already owned GoogleGlass.com for a while now, although it’s not using it.

The domain sat with a couple of trademark-violating squatters, before Google got hold of it. After all, Google only applied for a “Google Glass” trademark on September 12, 2012. There are also some issues with the application for “Google Glass” that Google needs to resolve before a six month window expires.

Meanwhile, more interesting is the story about the domain name OKGlass.com – another domain that Google owns, as of early February.

OKGlass.com has no trademark issues and it was originally registered in 1999 by an “One of a Kind Glass” corporation. The domain dropped, and was re-registered in 2003 by a domain investor, James Hotka, who promptly set it up for sale.

James operates the web site, LinkUWant.com, and he apparently owns a staggering 40,000 domain names, making them available for sale or lease.

In November 2012, the company NameAdvisers.com acquired the domain OKGlass.com for an unknown sum.

According to the NameAdvisers web site:

“Name Advisers specializes in product branding and domain services with a focus on providing our clients affordable options regardless of budget or company size. […] We will also help to protect proprietary rights in relation to a brand name through developing and implementing an effective domain name registration strategy. And if the right domain name is taken, we’ll help negotiate a domain purchase.”

Apparently, Name Advisers acted as the “man in the middle“, negotiating the purchase of OKGlass.com on behalf of Google, which took over the domain between four and six weeks later!

As OKGlass.com is a generic, brandable .com with no trademark issues, we’d be inclined to believe that this secret acquisition by Google was of strategic importance; the “OK Glass” command will be used and repeated – both in written and in verbal format – quite often, for years to come.

This post is 100% true!

This post is 100% true!

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