Google reckons it will soon be slinging ads at us from our cars, thermostats, watches, and more. Goody.
This grim hyper-capitalist future is as inevitable as it is depressing, and was disclosed by Google in a letter to the US Securities and Exchange Commission that was published on Tuesday. The SEC had asked the world's most technically sophisticated advertising company about how it breaks out its revenue split between mobile and desktop ads.
"We expect the definition of "mobile" to continue to evolve as more and more "smart" devices gain traction in the market," Google wrote. "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."
Google already owns a thermostat company in the form of recent multibillion-dollar acquisition Nest, has public plans for a Motorola-developed smartwatch, makes the controversial face-computers known as 'Google Glass', and is already trialing a fleet of self-driving cars. As for the refrigerator, nothing has been announced yet, but Google may be chilling on the idea.
The advertising company is currently grappling with declining values in its desktop advertising business as people switch over to searching on mobile devices, and in downward pressure in profits in mobile as the value of clicks there is far less.
As a consequence the company is on the hunt for new ways of stuffing its adverts into the brains of the world's population and is understandably rather keen on using devices lashed together via the internet-of-things to push
$IMPORTANTBRANDMESSAGE into the wider population.
Meanwhile, the company has spun-up an advanced development laboratory named GoogleX whose goals include carpeting developing countries in low-bandwidth internet via balloons, self-driving cars, and more.
"Most of the world's really pressing problems, though, are physical in nature and require physical solutions," explained GoogleX's chief Astro Teller in a speech in San Francisco in Wednesday.
Though Google portrays GoogleX's schemes as a kind of grand social altruism – and Teller appears to be driven by this idea – the end-game is that all of these fantastic inventions will be used to digitize the world's information and use it to serve back ads to the people it is trying to help. Search On, indeed. ®