Google to SEC: We could serve ads on thermostats, refrigerators, car dashboards, and more

“Advertising may be coming to your thermostat and lots of other strange places, courtesy of Google,” Rolfe Winkler reports for The Wall Street Journal. “In a December letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was disclosed Tuesday, the search giant said that it could be serving ads and other content on ‘refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.'”

“Google made the statement to help justify why it shouldn’t disclose revenue generated from mobile devices, a figure the SEC had requested and that companies like Facebook and Twitter both disclose,” Winkler reports. “Google argued that it doesn’t make sense to break out mobile revenue since the definition of mobile will ‘continue to evolve’ as more ‘smart’ devices roll out.”

“‘Our expectation is that users will be using our services and viewing our ads on an increasingly wide diversity of devices in the future,’ the company said in the filing,” Winkler reports. “Google announced a $3.2 billion deal in January to buy Nest Labs, a startup known for smart thermostats and smoke detectors – a few weeks after it told the SEC to expect ads and other content on such devices.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Sarah” and “Antonio” for the heads up.]


    1. Because there are more people that doesn’t give a rats ass about their privacy or being used a fodder for advertisers. These users want it all for FREE and willing to be used as a food source for Google.

    2. The report is pure BS.. It makes conclusions based on a lack of reality. It’s a freshman project, with an F grade. And it’s brand evaluations are unrealistic. If Apple were to change it’s name today, it will loose more than just a couple hundred million dollars. The brand is worth billions, tens to hundreds. But the bozo report suggests branding is less than 200 mill.

      1. As I mentioned in a different MDN post, the Forbes report is dated Nov.2013 and the Branddirectory report is dated Dec.2013. Both at least 3 months older than the just announced 2014 ranking by Brandz.

    3. Advertising on/in car dashboards or any part of the interior of a car constitutes a dangerous distraction to the driver. Nix that concept in the bud before lives are lost.

    1. They don’t want to hide it … they just don’t want to break it out by product segment. Ad revenue is most of Googles revenue.

      If I go to raise the temperature on my thermostat, I do not want to be subjected to an ad for sweaters.

      1. In other words, they want to continue hiding their mobile ad revenue in the lump of all ad revenue, so that nobody realises how little they actually make in mobile ads.

  1. Oh yeah, that’s the ticket! Wanna change the temperature on your thermostat? Slog through this ad first, okay? Just 15 seconds left. Wanna know the time? Sure, just hold on for 15 seconds and we’ll tell it to you. Know evil.Google can keep all their free hardware. I’m not interested in being their product.

        1. You are correct sir! I should have written: every such film since “Blade Runner”. (One of my favorite films.) I have read that Philip K. Dick never saw it. Do you think he would have liked the screen adaption of DADOES?

        2. Derek,
          Hey, let’s not forget about Max Headroom.
          Remember the “Neuro-stim” bracelets they were giving out at fast-food places in the episode?
          Or how about “Blipverts”; those 60 or 30 seconds of TV ads condensed into about 5 seconds.

  2. Not okay if we still have to pay for the thermostats.

    Now you gotta worry about home appliances building profiles… Who wants to bet Nest will definitely include a camera with facial recognition down the road ?

    1. No, the thermostat will be “free,” but it will secretly spy on you to determine which ads to present you. A few people will scoff at the idea, but more will blindly rejoice over all the neat appliances Google gives us and we’re an inch away from Orwell. Apple’s iconic 1984 ad is becoming a reality but it he enemy isn’t Big Blue… it’s our friendly data collectors at “do no evil,” just down the road.

  3. I’ve got a great idea for a new product. Solar panels that double as giant displays. Allow Google to display whatever ads it wants whenever it wants on your solar panels and their yours for free, installed! Better yet, how about windows! You can watch a different ad on each window in your house! Who needs to see outside anyway? It’s overrated. Pretty soon, your whole house will be brought to you by Google.

  4. Google doesn’t want to provide the information because it will tell its competitors how poorly they are doing in mobile.
    I do not use Google products anymore so if they add to other devices I will not use those either.

  5. Google is simply an ad agency masquerading as a high tech company. Their primary and possibly only profit stream is selling ads. Everything they do it oriented toward selling ads.

    Give the Android operating system away for free, so users will be directed to Google ads. Develop a great search engine, so ad space can be sold to the highest bidder in the search results.

    I’m sure any fool who buys Google Glass will be confronted by constant ads in front of their eye balls. Walk down a street and pass by The Gap and Google Glass will flash the latest Gap sales ad in front of your face.

    Therefore, is it any surprise that Google plans to put ads on the Nest thermostat or any other home automation item they produce. Of course not. That is their business.

    Therefore, if you don’t like ads, don’t use Google products. Need a good search engine that doesn’t track you, use Duck Duck Go. Want a good email service that doesn’t track you and read your email, then drop your gmail account and search around and find one. Or better yet, pay a couple bucks a year for a service that does your email and leaves you alone.

    We all have choices and free is not always a good price.

      1. I have a GMail account but never use the web interface. I use the Apple Mail clients on my desktop and mobile devices and see no ads, so Google gets no revenue from my email account.

        1. They still use it to mine and profile you for targeted ads elsewhere. I have a gmail account I use as a secondary/spam account but they don’t know where I go on the web thanks to LittleSnitch and I dont see ads thanks to glimmerblocker.
          I have no problem with ads but I do have a problem with the invasion of privacy google think is ok

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.