Google's letter to the SEC hints at advertisements coming to connected appliances, cars, and devices

In a letter Google sent to the US Securities and Exchange Commission last December, the advertising and technology giant provided an interesting explanation as to why it doesn't disclose the revenue it generates from mobile devices. Peering into the future, the company explains that its services and ads will one day run on all kinds of hardware which has a CPU, display, and is connected to the Internet. In other words, Google is going to serve ads everywhere, including your fridge, your car's dashboard, your smart-watches, glasses, and apparel. It's logical and expected. Think about it - if you ran a company, 70% of whose profits came from on-line advertising, what else would you do, but buy Nest, buy other home automation companies, and make Android run on everything they have? That's a rhetorical question, of course.

So, does this means your Nest thermostats and smoke detectors will start serving the same ads you get on your mobile and desktop screens? “Our expectation is that users will be using our services and viewing our ads on an increasingly wide diversity of devices in the future.” - reads Google's ambiguously-unambiguous letter to the SEC. Then again, at the time of its acquisition, Nest did reassure users that its privacy policy "limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest's products and services", so the possibility of thermostat advertisements is somewhat up in the air.

Android, however, already runs on most mobile devices, and is heading towards cars, wearables, and the kitchen sink. So, kindly, but with a hint of ominous, we suggest you keep an open mind.

source: WSJ



1. drazwy

Posts: 356; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

Nope. Sorry. I love google, but if I have to watch an add before adjusting my thermostat or opening my fridge, gone.

10. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

It is why i hate youtube at the moment. I dont mind ads, but when i switch from a dumb video to another one and get stuck with ad after ad, i just rage quit half the time. They already layer ads everywhere.

2. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Oh great, so if I'm opening my fridge to make a sandwich I'm going to get an ad to? i don't want them in my life bombarding me with ads.

8. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Ok...both of yall posts sound a lil out there. Adjusting thermostat is one thing...but do you guys really think the fridge wont open unless you watch the ad? Cmon. Even the thermostat...I dont think it'll stay stuck untill you watch the ad. How about if the screen on the fridge is large enough to actually surf the will see ads.

15. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Agreed, but I think it is just a pipe dream for Google. We all agree ads are annoying as hell, and I don't think the public will accept being hit with ads every time they turn their head. If it is the future, then I will be the first to sign a petition saying that I will boycott every company who dares to put an ad in my face when I am not watching tv or on a website. Complaining is one thing, but actually taking action is what gets things done.

3. pmugghc

Posts: 46; Member since: May 11, 2014

Why is the headline CES? It should be SEC.

4. dontneedtoknow

Posts: 158; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

While you are at it, why don't you put ads on my windscreen and android wear. I have never criticized Google's ad policy but this is going too far. I hope they come up with os for connected device so there are no ads.


Posts: 650; Member since: Nov 20, 2011

I'm sure there are ways ppl will be able to make it add free...if not tampering with the software, it might include/require a fee to remove them.

6. dwillopp

Posts: 18; Member since: Jul 08, 2010

Or you could just not buy devices that are running Android.

11. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

bingo. 95% of all googles revenue is a result of ads upon ads upon ads upon ads. Even Phone Arena is giving me more and more and more ads, i can barely pop into posts now without a darn popup.

7. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

lol i can picture many people telling their device shut up

9. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I seriously doubt showing ads on the car's dashboard would be approved. With safety issues and all. But I do know, when Google really decides to go through with this, I will either buy dumb cars/thermostats/fridges or make sure ads are blocked in some way.

12. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

who says they have to show it? Listening to an ad is one way for the car. Then they would make and app to connect a tablet to the car so that the ad would display on the tablet too. oh fun.

20. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

If they meant listening, they wouldn't mention the dashboard. But rather the speaker system.

13. ZeroCide

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

This is just more proof that Google is really an advertising agency and not a technology company. This is where most of their dollars come from.

18. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Google is an intelligence agency, similar to a Blackwater version of the NSA. Meaning that they are a data/information company. Google uses "ads" as the excuse to gain access to information and install monitoring systems.

22. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Fun fact....your ISP, wireless carrier monitors you alot more than Google....they have more info on you than Google... So you might want to think about getting off the grid completely....

23. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Wow...I really hope the folks that work on the Android team dont read this...they are a lil more than an ad agency.

14. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

I remember the days when Google's motto was don't be evil.. oh the good old days.

17. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

When Google shared their motto, they purposefully left off a few words: "Don't be evil, because we don't like competition."

21. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I'm just curious.....Google ads vs ads like for using Net Zero free internet back in the day...which one was more evil.... Google started folks using text based ads being less in the way. I think thats why some dont minds ads now or Google ads that much....some remember how it was before....when ads took up so much screen space. MS even went the less route with text based ads for I remember when hotmail it was painfully slow because the ad pics were so big.

16. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Most people miss the point with the "ads". What Google is really saying is that their trademark invasive information collection and monitoring will be coming to your house and personal life so that they can serve "tailored" ads for appliances, cars, and home devices. To serve these "tailored" ads for say, the refrigerator, they will need to know what's in your fridge, where you buy your food, how you eat/don't eat your food, how much you cook, how often you eat out, where you eat out, if you are having guests over, who the guests are and what they like to eat, everyone's food allergies, your medical information including drugs you may be taking as food can interfere with drug absorption, etc.

19. wilsong17 unregistered

my man your sir are criticism but yet using the internet in someway you are using google software or internet service you are hypocrite

24. Altair

Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Google: You are going to fail, if you think, that people want to see ads everywhere. Nobody likes ads, nobody ever watches them. I personally avoid Google because of forced ads everywhere and spying my personal data. Google is a copycat thief along with its Android OEM lackeys.

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