Google Wants to Put Ads on Thermostats (and Everything Else You Own)

By Ashley Feinberg on at

There's a reason Google (among a number of other companies) has been pushing for the internet of things. Not only does it engrain Google in your daily life, but every extra screen it can slap on to your possessions means one very important thing—precious ad space.

In a letter Google sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Google attempted to justify its decision not to disclose revenue generated from mobile devices because in the future it could be serving ads on "refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities." Which basically means, its mobile device revenue now isn't a reliable guide for what's coming—because everything you own will essentially be a revenue jackpot.

Enhanced Campaigns allows our advertisers to write one ad campaign, which we serve dynamically to the right user at the right time on whatever device makes the most sense. Because users will increasingly view ads and make purchase decisions on and across multiple devices, our view of revenue is similarly device-agnostic.

Google even said that its "expectation is that our users will be using our services and viewing our ads on an increasingly wide diversity of devices in the future." So Google's decision to buy Nest for $3.2 billion last January makes even more sense when you realise it's potentially just another screen on which Google can force-feed you custom ads. [Wall Street Journal]