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Google admits it may place ads on thermostats, glasses, car dashboards & refrigerators

post #1 of 125
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Almost any display, from the wrist to the wall, could be fair game for Google to send advertisements, the company has admitted in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, going as far as to say that even refrigerators could one day serve Google AdSense to their users.


The Electrolux Screenfridge.


Google's list of potential new advertising opportunities was detailed in a letter to the SEC in December, in which the search giant attempted to justify why it shouldn't disclose revenue generated from mobile devices. The SEC has requested that Google and other mobile companies, including Facebook and Twitter, offer investors more detail on their mobile revenue, according to The Wall Street Journal.

But Google doesn't believe it should be obligated to disclose that data, as the company noted that its services -- including advertisements --?could appear on a "wide diversity of devices in the future."

In addition to refrigerators, Google said it could also serve up ads on car dashboards, thermostats, glasses and watches, "just to name a few possibilities."

"Our expectation is that users will be using our services and viewing our ads on an increasingly wide diversity of devices in the future, and thus our advertising systems are becoming increasingly device-agnostic," the filing reads.

Android Wear concept
Motorola's Moto 360 Andoid Wear-powered smart watch | Source: Google


The mention of thermostats is of particular interest, as Google bought Nest Labs, maker of a smart thermostat, for $3.2 billion earlier this year. Nest was founded by ex-Apple executive Tony Fadell, and the company's products were featured prominently in Apple's own retail stores prior to the Google acquisition.

The mention of glasses and watches is no surprise, as Google is betting heavily on the future of wearable devices, through both its Google Glass project, as well as its forthcoming Android Wear platform. And Google is even dabbling in self-driving cars, which would explain the mention of vehicle dashboards.

Perhaps the most bizarre mention, then, is of a so-called "Google Refrigerator," signaling that the company may be looking to go well beyond the thermostat in building a connected home with advanced appliances.
post #2 of 125

Didn't we all see this coming. This alone will kill sales of these devices. As cool as something like the Nest Thermostat is, I don't believe people will want a Google Ad on their thermostat and I doubt most would pay extra to not have ads. This is something that shouldn't have ads in the first place. Nest killed shot themselves in the foot as soon as they partnered with Google. 

 

I don't need a Kraft Mac n Cheese ad running on the fridge when I go to open it. My kitchen isn't a friggin' Wal-mart. I don't need to be persuaded to purchase something every time I open the refrigerator door. 

 

There are places for ads to be and wearable devices, appliances, and cars are not it. Google is throwing mud at the wall with all of this with hopes that something sticks. 

post #3 of 125
And the geek filth legion will bend over backward defending their deity.

Meanwhile, Google's core product, Internet search, has become useless. Seriously, it's substituting words nowhere near what I entered.
post #4 of 125
The "Google Refrigerator" concept isn't surprising at all if one considers the number of individual uses/interactions one has with the appliance in any day.

Whereas a television or computer may get more total hours of viewing time, the number of discrete views of a refrigerator is far greater, and goes up with the number of inhabitants in the dwelling.

As a matter of fact, in many households the refrigerator features messages, reminders, and the kids' art gallery.

Completely unsurprising, I don't understand why AppleInsider sees this as bizarre.

Google's core product is AdWords, >90% of their revenue comes from AdWords. That's what they sell.
Edited by mpantone - 5/21/14 at 7:24am
post #5 of 125
No thanks!
post #6 of 125
LOL, Three Nest Thermostats for sale!
post #7 of 125

Google's new corporate tagline:  To Serve Man... Ads!

I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
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I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
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post #8 of 125
Google doesn't say that advertising will appear on these other systems. They use the possibility as an argument against splitting out mobile revenue specifically since thermostats, refrigerators and the like wouldn't fit that category. In other words there could be more than two categories, mobile and desktop, at some future point and starting to define revenue by specific source now could become problematic from both an investor and competitive angle.

If consumers reject ads on refrigerators and such then I wouldn't expect them to be promoted. Kinda against the point of advertising if it's a turn-off isn't it?
melior diabolus quem scies
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post #9 of 125
And this morning CNBC is hyping Google amassing an overseas war chest to go on a global spending spree. No mention though of how Google wants to throw advertising on anything and everything. Thankfully I don't have to buy any Google products and have ads shoved in my face 24/7.
post #10 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...going as far as to say that even refrigerators could one day serve Google AdSense to their users.

In addition to refrigerators, Google said it could also serve up ads on car dashboards, thermostats, glasses and watches, "just to name a few possibilities."

I think people are misunderstanding what they are saying here. AdSense works like this: You have a website, you let Google have some space on your page where they place relevant ads, you get paid. I know this because I've been doing it for years. The only way you are going to see AdSense ads on your refrigerator is if it has a browser and you surf the web to some page that has Google AdSense running on it. The ads do not live on the refrigerator unless your refrigerator is also a web server in which case you wouldn't see them, you would just get paid. 

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post #11 of 125
"Great, more ads" - said no one.
post #12 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by xZu View Post

LOL, Three Nest Thermostats for sale!

Exactly.

The second I see an ad on my Nest, it is coming off the wall.

post #13 of 125

Samsung should advertise on toilet paper.

 

[I'm sure it would sell well to quite a few AI members]


Edited by island hermit - 5/21/14 at 7:17am
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post #14 of 125
0119-androidwear-1.jpg

Maybe it's just me but I think this watch is ugly. Especially the black bar at the bottom. Seems to me these round displays are all about form over function. Hey, if we make it look like a traditional watch maybe someone will buy it. lol.gif
post #15 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

Samsung should advertise on toilet paper.

 

[I'm sure it would sell well to quite a few AI members]

They would certainly wipe out the competition.

post #16 of 125
Google. Nagging you from dawn to dusk, anywhere, anytime. Resistance is futile.
post #17 of 125
The more Google does... The less I like them.
post #18 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I think people are misunderstanding what they are saying here. AdSense works like this: You have a website, you let Google have some space on your page where they place relevant ads, you get paid. I know this because I've been doing it for years. The only way you are going to see AdSense ads on your refrigerator is if it has a browser and you surf the web to some page that has Google AdSense running on it. The ads do not live on the refrigerator unless your refrigerator is also a web server in which case you wouldn't see them, you would just get paid. 

Not necessarily. The Nest has a display and an Internet connection. Google could push ads to the display any time they wanted to. The iOS Nest app could have pop up ads just like nearly every app. Anything with a display is free game to google.
post #19 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post
 
Not necessarily. The Nest has a display and an Internet connection. Google could push ads to the display any time they wanted to. The iOS Nest app could have pop up ads just like nearly every app. Anything with a display is free game to google.

Then it wouldn't be AdSense as the article claims. In the first fake image the refrigerator is showing Google search results with AdWords not AdSense. Just more AI hype.

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post #20 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Google doesn't say that advertising will appear on these other systems. They use the possibility as an argument against splitting out mobile revenue specifically since thermostats, refrigerators and the like wouldn't fit that category. In other words there could be more than two categories, mobile and desktop, at some future point and starting to define revenue by specific source now could become problematic from both an investor and competitive angle.

If consumers reject ads on refrigerators and such then I wouldn't expect them to be promoted. Kinda against the point of advertising if it's a turn-off isn't it?

 

They should just create a new category for the Internet of Things and move all of their revenue there. ;)

post #21 of 125
I think I'm glad I'm old and will die in the not too distant future

Ads on every surface you look at? The thought is enough to make one throw up.
post #22 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

0119-androidwear-1.jpg

Maybe it's just me but I think this watch is ugly. Especially the black bar at the bottom. Seems to me these round displays are all about form over function. Hey, if we make it look like a traditional watch maybe someone will buy it. lol.gif

I have to admit, I quite like it....but I'll agree with you this far, the black bar on the bottom spoils an otherwise elegant design.

But even if you don't like this particular design, you have to admit that - in fit and finish** - it's a generational leap over what has come before, no?



**Assuming that the live product is anywhere close to the online renders, of course.
post #23 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by macaholic_1948 View Post

Ads on every surface you look at? The thought is enough to make one throw up.

Too bad iOS doesn't let you install ad blockers. I am always shocked whenever I use my iPad to surf the web. That's another reason why I prefer my Mac - no ads!

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post #24 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

Samsung should advertise on toilet paper.

 

[I'm sure it would sell well to quite a few AI members]

 

There has to be somewhere that offers custom branding of toilet paper. I need a couple rolls with the Samsung logo, and a couple rolls with the Google logo please.

post #25 of 125
Love everything Google, NOT!

Google wants to know everything. Self driving cars will store all the information on location, people in the car and probably conversation to analyze information and/or words to present more ads. Google wants to know what I'm eating so that it can sell that aggregate information to vendors and populate relative ads.
post #26 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by macaholic_1948 View Post

I think I'm glad I'm old and will die in the not too distant future

Ads on every surface you look at? The thought is enough to make one throw up.

 

That's the way I feel about all the fast food establishments.

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post #27 of 125
Quote:
In addition to refrigerators, Google said it could also serve up ads on car dashboards, thermostats, glasses and watches, "just to name a few possibilities...our advertising systems are becoming increasingly device-agnostic," the filing reads.

 

Can't innovate my ass!

 

/s

post #28 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post
 

Didn't we all see this coming. This alone will kill sales of these devices. As cool as something like the Nest Thermostat is, I don't believe people will want a Google Ad on their thermostat and I doubt most would pay extra to not have ads.

 

It's really not about paying extra to not have ads as much as it is to pay less to have ads with the product.  $250 is a lot for a thermostat.  I have 8 of them and love them, but really the device itself doesn't lend itself to even having ads in its current form; however I could see future versions providing marketing opportunities that could drive the retail price down to a much lower level.

 

Quote:
Nest killed shot themselves in the foot as soon as they partnered with Google. 

 

They didn't partner with Google, they sold the company to Google, for $3.2 Billion.  That's hardly a shot in the foot.

 

Quote:

I don't need a Kraft Mac n Cheese ad running on the fridge when I go to open it. My kitchen isn't a friggin' Wal-mart. I don't need to be persuaded to purchase something every time I open the refrigerator door. 

 

 

Then don't buy one.   However, the "Internet of things" is definitely here and real.  While this allows for things like having your fridge be smarter, being able to send alerts for spoiled food or malfunctions, it also allows for new opportunities that don't fit the same paradigm of conventional advertising...

 

Think less about opening the door and hearing a random "Drink Coca-Cola" jingle, and more in terms of a win-win for the retailer and consumer.  For example, one thing I do often today is when I run out of something in the pantry or fridge, I scan the bar code with my phone and order it.  There's no reason to have the phone on me anymore, if the fridge can have a cheap camera, wifi and processor capable of scanning and ordering stuff for me.  The smart fridge would have $50-$100 in components and run Android with Google Shopping built in.  While the additional component cost at the retail level would otherwise end up being maybe $200, that's something Google may subsidize so they can make money off the backend.  You scan X and it recommends Y, which you can ignore or even turn off.  The same with ecoupons and specials.  Either way, Google would get a small cut of anything you do purchase.  Again, all optional, but compelling, if nothing else than for the spoil/malfunction alerts.

 

Quote:
There are places for ads to be and wearable devices, appliances, and cars are not it.

 

I think the same types of opportunities present themselves to all sorts of things that will be connected to the internet.  Washer/Dryer... scan the detergent, softener, etc...  Anything that will be capable of connectivity lends itself to being capable of commerce which lends itself to being capable of advertising.  The method and execution of that advertising can be intrusive and overbearing, or it can be optional and provide utility during dedicated tasks.

 

Quote:
Google is throwing mud at the wall with all of this with hopes that something sticks. 

 

Yes, absolutely.  While the smart fridge may not catch on, it's worth trying.  The upside is enormous, and the cost to try is relatively trivial.  Hey, as much as I love iOS and prefer Apple products and services over anything competitive from Google, I do respect and admire Google's ambition.  It's something different than Apple.  I'm not criticizing Apple, I admire them for wanting to remain a narrowly focused company.  Both are executing their strategies very well.

post #29 of 125
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post #30 of 125
The reason I like Apple, and I don't care for anything Google does outside of Search (and _maybe_ translate), is because with Apple, I pay the price that they set and I get a product or service. The end.

People complain that Apple's prices are exhorbitant, but if you're old enough to remember living through at least the last 20 years of Apple, you'd know that their prices are now very competitive. I mean a laptop for $899?! I paid almost $3,000 for my PowerBook G4, 12". And I was happy to, because it was such a great laptop. Does Apple charge a premium? Yes. Do some people not want to pay that premium? Yes. But for me personally, I'm okay with paying the premium, getting a well built, well designed, forward thinking product, and knowing that Apple is sustaining their business on the money I just paid them. They have no incentive to do anything sneaky. In fact their incentive is to do the opposite, to protect our privacy, to give us a cleaner, better experience.

Google is the opposite. Their stuff is free. But this incentivizes them to always push the boundary of what people will find acceptable, what people will be able to stomach. Eric Schmidt said, our goal is to get as close to the creepy line as possible without crossing it. Well, frankly, that model just ain't for me. I don't want my thermostat reporting to Google on my habits and then displaying ads to me. F that.
post #31 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

If consumers reject ads on refrigerators and such then I wouldn't expect them to be promoted. Kinda against the point of advertising if it's a turn-off isn't it?

 

And it's kinda against the point of running a business if it doesn't turn a profit too.  Google's core revenue model is based on advertising and selling market research to advertisers.  Perhaps they can fund loss-leader products on the back of other revenue sources for a while, but at some point the investors will want those loss-leaders to turn a profit.

 
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post #32 of 125
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Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

Too bad iOS doesn't let you install ad blockers. I am always shocked whenever I use my iPad to surf the web. That's another reason why I prefer my Mac - no ads!

There are several iOS web browsers that have built-in ad blocking. Atomic Web Browser and Ghostery are two off the top of my head.

 

I tend to use Atomic when I am actively browsing the web on my iPad. It also has private browsing mode; I have mine configured to delete everything (cookies, history, etc.) when I exit the app.

post #33 of 125

It's coming and people will wear it (because everything is cheaper with ads!).

 

 

Google TV of the future:

post #34 of 125
The sheep often called the American consumer will accept it the same way they accepted 33% of their TV time is advertisements, movie theaters showing ads before the feature, ads embedded into content such as sitcoms, ads on just about every web page that exist, etc...
post #35 of 125

Or, you know, you could read the actual quote, which is hardly an "advertise on Nest" announcement:

 

"We expect the definition of “mobile” to continue to evolve as more and more “smart” devices gain traction in the market. For example, a few years from now, we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities."

post #36 of 125
I'm not sure why the article thinks the idea of a Google Fridge is that weird. Samsung has made a fridge with a screen and apps for a few years now. The screen is pretty lame quality and the apps are few (Pandora on your fridge!) but it has WiFi and has potential as Google has surmised.

Not that everyone will want such a product, but the potential certainly exists.
post #37 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Samsung should advertise on toilet paper.

[I'm sure it would sell well to quite a few AI members]

No way. We want to keep our asses clean.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #38 of 125

I've been saying to myself for quite some time now that I desperately want ads on non-ad devices.  Thanks Google for hearing my thoughts.  Or wait, wtf kind of tech do you guys really have hearing my thoughts and all?

post #39 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by xZu View Post

LOL, Three Nest Thermostats for sale!

No plans to sell mine. Works great, and they'll have to release new models to display ads.

Well, I suppose they could download an update that displays ads, and at that point I would have to reconsider.

It wouldn't be acceptable to me to have paid $250 for a device that suddenly violates most of what I bought it for (i.e. the aesthetic.)

post #40 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

If consumers reject ads on refrigerators and such then I wouldn't expect them to be promoted. Kinda against the point of advertising if it's a turn-off isn't it?

 

Yeah, right, if that was true then that frickin' insurance ad where the guy yells at us wouldn't run. It makes me turn the TV off every time it runs. I absolutely *hate* Progressive now.  I won't do business with them ever.  But their ads still pollute my TV.

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