Follow-up: First porn app for Google Glass relaunches, stripped of explicit content

Seattle-based adult app marketplace Mikandi is getting lots of attention — and traffic — for releasing the first-ever pornography app for Google Glass. But a new ban on sexually explicit content on the high-tech specs is putting the app’s future in jeopardy.

mikandi12Mikandi unveiled “Tits & Glass,” today, calling it the world’s first porn app for Glass. Tits & Glass allows people to record sexual content on their Glass and share it with the Mikandi community on the new Tits & Glass website.

But the fun won’t last much longer for the 17 developers and 20,000 who have already visited the website just today. Google updated its platform developer policies this past weekend with a new section about sexually explicit material:

We don’t allow Glassware content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material. Google has a zero-tolerance policy against child pornography. If we become aware of content with child pornography, we will report it to the appropriate authorities and delete the Google Accounts of those involved with the distribution.

Google also restricts Glass content involving hate speech, bullying, violence or online gambling. The search giant has distributed a few thousand of the $1,500 glasses to early adopters and developers.

Mikandi wrote a blog post two weeks ago, publicly announcing that they had received Glass and were figuring out ways to incorporate it with their website. Today, co-founder Jesse Adams penned another post, writing that his company became aware of Google’s new restrictions just on Monday.

When we received our Glass and started developing our app 2 weeks ago, we went through the policy very carefully to make sure we were developing the app within the terms. We double checked again last week when making the site live on the Internet and available for install for testing during last week’s announcement. We were not notified of any changes and still haven’t been notified by Google. We also double checked our emails to see if any notifications of policy changes were announced, but we haven’t found any such emails.

mikandiAdams wrote that Mikandi is now updating its app, which reached its API limit in just one hour this morning, to comply with the new policy. The company called Google this morning, asked for an increase in API and initially was approved. But then later in the day, this request was denied.

“Of course, the more important issue is that we were effectively banned with the sudden policy change,” Adams told GeekWire. “We see Glass as an awesome adult communication tool, so we definitely do not want to remove any of the social and sharing features. Our goal is to push the envelope, but to do it in a responsible way.”

Adams, who founded Mikandi in 2009 with Jennifer McEwan, said his company loves the vision behind Glass because of its more “natural way to enhance our lives with technology.”

“The idea of sharing and communicating through the intimate perspective of POV is a thrilling combination for adult entertainment,” he said. “Also, Glass is currently paired with your mobile device, so we envision a variety of adult notification based apps that complement the adult experiences you’re already enjoying on your phone, computer or connected TV.”

Mikandi was made famous when Apple CEO Steve Jobs criticized the existence of a “porn store” on the Android platform, alluding to MiKandi without mentioning it by name — resulting in a bonanza of publicity for the MiKandi service.

Adams said the company is “growing nicely every month,” with more than 8,000 published apps, four million users and 3,000 new registered users per day. The team is made up of four full-timers and ten at various part-time levels.

Previously on GeekWireNo Google Glasses allowed, declares Seattle dive bar … Star Trek’s ‘Data’ checks out Google Glass for first time: ‘How do I reset?’

Comments

  • Guest

    Google should have gotten a clue that glasses aren’t a good idea when Bill Gates said this would be the next big thing. They should abandon them completely once Ballmer announces they are making them too. About as creepy as Kinect.

    • topgun966

      I still don’t understand this logic. This is actually less invasive than cell phones. Cell phones, you can sneak pictures and video of say up a womans skirt. This, you HAVE to be looking at what you are recording our taking a picture of. Sorry, but you laying on the ground, or staring at someones junk is a dead give away and likely to get punch in the face thus breaking your Google Glass.

    • Byron

      About as creepy as being seen in public.

  • panacheart

    I have mixed feelings. While I don’t support the porn industry, I do take issue with technology companies selling devices and then telling users what they can and cannot do with them.

    This issue goes back to Mattel suing artists that used Barbie in art projects that included porn and gay settings, and they lost in court several times, but even then continued suing artists.

    When we purchase a physical device, should the company that sold it to us claim that under license we only have the right to use the device in certain ways? Should they be allowed to trump the 1st Amendment and determine without due process what is and isn’t appropriate behavior?

    While I think the Google glasses are creepy, I think the control they want over content is even creepier.

    • Guest

      This has nothing to do with the first amendment. Google makes a product, so it’s their right to say what content will be available for their product. That’s as silly as walking into a mall with a shotgun and complaining when they throw you out. Yes, you can carry a gun in public, but you’re no longer in public.

      • Agrush

        That analogy doesn’t hold at all. It’s more like a car maker saying that in order to buy their car, you have to agree not to install a certain brand of seatcovers, and that if you do, they have a right to make your car stop working. No one’s trying to force Google or the Google App Store to distribute adult content, but some people want to use their technology for “adult” purposes, and it SHOULD be well within their right.

        In fact, I’d argue that the adult/porn industry has blazed the trail for a lot of media markets. Look at who were some of the first to crank out VHS tapes, or DVDs, or commercial websites, or Blu-Ray releases? Fact is. mobile porn (mostly sites made for mobile browsers) is already a massive industry. You can turn your back on it if you want, but it’s gonna hurt (er, your marketshare).

        • Aaron Evans

          It’s like if you bought your car from the Exxon, and it only took Exxon fuel and Exxon said you can only buy fuel for your car if you don’t transport items they don’t approve of, and they checked your car when they found out that you were buying more fuel than any of their other customers, and they find the contraband and refused to sell you fuel.

        • alphanon

          You can download all the porn apps you want to, just not from the the Google app store.

        • Eric

          Argrush, what MiKandi is doing is percisely trying to “force” Google to distribute adult content (by seeking to have their app available in the Google App store). Secondly, it IS well within the consumers right to use the glasses for “adult purposes,” such as recording whatever they want for their own personal use. They clearly just don’t want to be affiliated with porn sites.

          • http://mikandi.com/ Porn App Store | MiKandi

            We’re not trying to “force” Google to do anything other than make a decision about the openness of its new device.

            When we first announced that we were developing our Glass app, there were no provisions against adult content in their dev policy. Since it was updated, we updated our app to comply with their revised terms. From the very beginning, we stated our intentions of staying within their policies for Glass.

            Right now, Google has made it clear that Glass will not be as open as Android is… at least while it’s in beta. But we’re optimistic that they will open the platform when it’s available for consumers next year.

      • panacheart

        If all of our means of communication is owned by private entities, and they can control our content, then we no longer have 1st amendment rights. It’s part of the dumbing down of our society. Facebook is also guilty. We have art posts with breasts that are flagged for “abuse” and accounts turned off for things like showing the Venus de Milo.

        As we hand off our means of communication and expression to private entities that have the right to make unilateral policy, we also lose our rights to self expression and freedom of expression.

        Furthermore, we shouldn’t allow companies to tell us what we can and cannot do with their widget once we buy it. Once I buy a video recorder, it’s mine to do what I want with, and the company that made it should have zero control over the content I create.

      • syuvial

        Actually, the courts disagree with you. Nintendo tried to sue the company that made Game Genie, and the courts ruled that once you’ve purchased the hardware, you can make whatever additions or alterations you want to it. That includes adding or altering code.

        Tits and glass may be banned from the app marketplace, but it will always be available as a manual install.

        And if google disallows manual installing, it might take a year or so for someone to figure out jailbreaking.

  • Viet Nguyen

    But will they also ban that other great internet pastime? Cat videos.

  • SmartGuy

    I think Google is smart enough to have plans of opening up to (legal) sexual content a while after the device goes public. A ban right now is a very smart move, because with a young app collection, all of the limited number of apps reflect on the product’s immediate image, and Google obviously doesn’t want porn as a part of its corporate image.

    At the end of the day, Glass is a product for one’s personal lifestyle, and alienating sexuality, which is a part of most adults’ lifestyles — a demographic that will also be the vast majority of Glass’s customers — can do more harm than good in the long run.

    What draws people to this new concept of eyewear devices is a kind of utility that no smartphone, tablet, or computer provides. A hands-free mobile device, by itself, feels like doors opening. When you start closing doors, it starts to become a product with an identity crisis, like Microsoft’s Surface RT and arguably Windows 8.

  • Podd Socks

    just jailbreak the google glass and porn away to your hearts content.

  • cyberqat

    It isnt a new medium without porn.

    All Google is doing with such restrictions hastening the pace of jailbreaking.

  • Zerq The Mad

    Hmmm… censoring of adult content disturbs me…

    while i have to agree this is not a good safe ap to allow to go on i still think and outright ban on sexual material is wrong in any market…

    Hentai style dating sims and similar really cannot have any objections beond to of needing to ensure no underaged users can install it… this shouldent be a problem any way since a rating system will be vital anyway for age ratings on violent games..

    recording people who are naked without concent is or should be criminal…

    how ever if say i want to make a game about kinky lesbian catgirls with a complex society based round sexual domination as a power basis rather then violence like our society is… hence a totally non violent game… where conflics are resovled via sex (much like banobos do unlike chimps who like us commit genocide)

    of coarse im not likely to make such a game for google glas per say… but the principle should be the same anyway…

    blanket bands are stupid…

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