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Google Foresees Ads On Your Refrigerator, Thermostat, and Glasses 355

Posted by Soulskill
from the brought-to-you-by-melancholy dept.
New submitter waspleg sends news of a letter Google sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission in which the tech giant laid out its vision of an ad-filled future. They wrote, "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. 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."
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Google Foresees Ads On Your Refrigerator, Thermostat, and Glasses

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  • Nope. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by danomac (1032160) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:05PM (#47059485)

    First thing I'd do is disable networking on these devices.

    • Re:Nope. (Score:5, Funny)

      by NapalmV (1934294) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:08PM (#47059513)
      Then you'll see only the same old built-in ads forever.
    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:20PM (#47059675)

      What is Glass with networking disabled? Just a device to trick people into punching you for no reason?

    • First thing I'd do is disable networking on these devices.

      Something like Google's Nest becomes mostly useless without networking.

      At that point, why even buy the Google product?

    • by dfsmith (960400)
      "Reconnect the network or the milk gets it."
    • by kheldan (1460303)
      The first thing I'd do is not purchase appliances with these sorts of features. Seriously, why the hell do you need a refrigerator with a large enough screen to display ads in the first place? All you need is a thermostat control. Simple is always better, fewer things to break. Ads in my car? That's a distraction, which creates a safety hazard. On my watch? Why would you buy a watch that can do that? Also, why would you have a watch that has a wireless connection? It's a watch! Thermostat for your HVAC? Why
  • Impossible (Score:5, Funny)

    by PvtVoid (1252388) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:06PM (#47059499)
    I have Adblock on my refrigerator.
  • by rogoshen1 (2922505) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:09PM (#47059523)

    I foresee a future in which black tape or other opaque adhesive objects will be used to blot out the ads. Maybe I should get a patent..

    "a device which obscures the user from seeing mind-numbing and intrusive advertising on products which have already purchased"

    Google can shove their ad-laden future straight up their collective asses.

  • Publicly-traded technical advertising company announces expectation of profit in advertising on tech devices. Stop the presses.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Publicly-traded technical advertising company announces expectation of profit in advertising on tech devices. Stop the presses.

      Much of Slashdot (and others) still seems to have a problem recognizing that Google is an advertising company. All their cool stuff is to support this core business.

      • by retchdog (1319261)

        huh? their shareholders and regulators seem to understand just fine, as suggested by the cited SEC filing.

  • No. Thank. You. Why is this now the default instead of delivering a device that just works without the internet?

  • by Kardos (1348077) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:13PM (#47059571)

    If adverts get that pervasive, the value of each one is going to decline substantially. If I see 40 adverts before breakfast, I can't possibly buy each and every one of the products. There's only so much disposable income. If this gets pushed out, it's going to be self defeating.

    • by Overzeetop (214511) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:20PM (#47059669) Journal

      We passed that point decades ago.

    • by Obfuscant (592200)

      If adverts get that pervasive, the value of each one is going to decline substantially. If I see 40 adverts before breakfast, I can't possibly buy each and every one of the products.

      The purpose of most advertising (infomercials and other "call now" ads excepted) is not to get you to immediately pick up the phone and buy. It's to keep the name in your mind so when you do make a buying decision you'll be influenced. Nobody runs out and buys a Twix when they see the Twix left/right ads, but when they are in the store and the see a Twix display, they remember "those are the ones with the cute ads, maybe I'll try one."

      If this gets pushed out, it's going to be self defeating.

      No, it will be a feeding frenzy as everyone jumps on the bandwagon to c

    • If I see 40 adverts before breakfast, I can't possibly buy each and every one of the products. There's only so much disposable income.

      LOL, you're so naive. Of course "consumers" can continually increase spending on useless shit; that's why average household debt [wikipedia.org] grew from 70% of disposable income in 1980 to 130% of it in 2008!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aeonym (1115135)

      Oh, there's so, so much further that advertising can go:

      http://www.lightspeedmagazine.... [lightspeedmagazine.com]

    • While likely not 40, there's a decent chance you already see maybe a dozen ads before breakfast. That cereal box? Plastered in ads on the back for their other products. Load a website? Ads. Turn on the TV? Ads. Newspaper? Ads. Pick up a book for some light reading? Ads on the jacket cover, ads before the prologue, ads in the last few pages, and quite possibly subtle ads in the text itself. Play a mobile game? Ads.

      They're already pervasive. The point of putting them in new places is that even if the value of

  • The ads! I can't get them out of my head! Even when I close my eyes they're there! Why did I buy Google Contact Lenses?!?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Would you like me to order some cigarettes and a pregnancy test for you?

  • 'Nuff said!
    • I started moving away from Google about a year ago for this very reason.

      My work email is still a Google Apps for Education based, since our university basically wants everyone either there or on Microsoft's cloud (which UW has managed to muck up, so it's not a great option). But my personal email is not. I do miss Google's spam filtering, which is darn good; but using an email client again has made me realize just how mediocre Gmail's interface is overall.

  • It's going to take a very compelling 'smart' feature to make applying the protocol currently used for the blinding-eyeburner-superbright blue LEDs that manufacturers insist on sticking everywhere to the hypothetical screens that will be displaying ads everywhere.

    Between electrical tape, spraypaint, and maybe a bit of glass etching (when more polite flavors of disconnecting or firmware modification don't suffice) I see no reason for anything that doesn't need a screen to remain equipped with one.
  • better question... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Connie_Lingus (317691) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:17PM (#47059623) Homepage

    ...would you be willing to receive a brand new $2000 frig/freezer for free IF it showed ads on it?

    that's the real issue...i think alot of people would...hell I probably would.

    • A lot depends on the ads. I got a reduced price on my Kindle with ads, and I have no problem with them. OTOH, if they were anything like TV ads, or the more annoying internet ads, I'd gladly pay the $2K to get rid of them.

    • by ggraham412 (1492023) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:30PM (#47059833)

      If enough people do take that tradeoff, eventually you won't ever be able to buy an ad free Fridge for $2000 because they'll stop making them.

    • by Gibgezr (2025238)

      We have a winner! Because I can't see anyone paying big bucks for a fridge that annoys the crap out of them.

    • Of course, how hard would it to paste a piece of cardboard over the display (in case the user interface is only accessible from the screen ads are shown on, instead of, say, paint) and tear out the speakers? Now you've got a free refrigerator.

    • by mlts (1038732)

      I doubt that will ever happen. There were companies that tried giving away low-end Compaq PCs, provided they display ads on them, but that business model flopped.

      In reality, the $2000 fridge/freezer will come with ads, like it or not, and the only way to get one without ads is to buy a model without a screen or put it on a VLAN that blocks by IP address... and even then, the fridge will just show what was in the cache last... or perhaps even stop working until it can successfully phone home (similar to the

    • by NIK282000 (737852)

      Hell yeah. Run ads on my washer and dryer too if it means they are cheap/free. Its the same idea as free apps but free appliances are actually useful.

    • by Macdude (23507)

      ...would you be willing to receive a brand new $2000 frig/freezer for free IF it showed ads on it?

      Can I tape a piece of paper over the screen? Perhaps a piece of paper with a nice photo on it?

  • As far as the automotive portion of this, they've overlooked a pretty critical detail: With the exception of navigation and car-control, the driver cannot be in a position to view moving video or flashy graphics--it's explicitly illegal to design a car in such a way that such garish distraction could catch the driver's eye at a critical moment.

    As for the rest: I know of few people that would do anything other than smash the screen out of a refrigerator that was blaring ads at them every time they walked pas

    • by jcochran (309950)

      As far as the automotive portion of this, they've overlooked a pretty critical detail: With the exception of navigation and car-control, the driver cannot be in a position to view moving video or flashy graphics--it's explicitly illegal to design a car in such a way that such garish distraction could catch the driver's eye at a critical moment.

      And now the reason for the autonomous car research by Google is revealed. Somehow, I suspect that the laws prohibiting moving video and flashy graphics will go away, or stop being enforced once autonomous vehicles are common place.

      • As far as the automotive portion of this, they've overlooked a pretty critical detail: With the exception of navigation and car-control, the driver cannot be in a position to view moving video or flashy graphics--it's explicitly illegal to design a car in such a way that such garish distraction could catch the driver's eye at a critical moment.

        And now the reason for the autonomous car research by Google is revealed. Somehow, I suspect that the laws prohibiting moving video and flashy graphics will go away, or stop being enforced once autonomous vehicles are common place.

        You may be right, since by definition that person isn't "driving" anymore in his robot-car.

        But since the other side of the robot-car equation is that most people won't own their own cars anymore because it would be essentially unnecessary, cars would become a much more communal resource--more like a taxicab that everybody owns. But unlike a taxicab, passengers are likely to be alone in the cars frequently, so it wouldn't surprise me if advertisement surfaces were regularly vandalized.

        And if that means nobod

    • As far as the automotive portion of this, they've overlooked a pretty critical detail...

      Are you sure they have overlooked this? I think the words "google" and "car" and "driver" have been used in a lot of sentences over the last few years, especially with the word "driver" modified.

      Make no mistake, there really is a vision here, and it's pretty damn clever (even if it's also insideous and horrible). Outside of dense areas with usable public transportation, a lot of "eye hours" are being "wasted" every day

      • Are you sure they have overlooked this? I think the words "google" and "car" and "driver" have been used in a lot of sentences over the last few years, especially with the word "driver" modified.

        They have a vision, all right: About annoying human beings with advertisements at every waking moment. The part I suggested they were overlooking was the part where it is, at present, illegal to do what they're talking about doing. Yes, of course, they're google and they have scads of money to buy whatever laws they want, but I mean today.

  • I foresse a world (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gurps_npc (621217) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:21PM (#47059691) Homepage
    where people burn the Google campus to the ground and spit on it's grave.

    Yes, I see where they would want that.

    Yes, I see how looking at facebook et al. makes people think that privacy is dead.

    I also realize that we are still in the infancy of the internet revolution and you can't project current uses forward, but instead must realize that the tide will turn against them.

    We are currently in the pre-OSHA stage of the Internet Revolution.

    Just as people had to fight for safety and work limits during the industrial revolution, we will end up stopping people from abusing our privacy. It just takes a little bit of time for the regulations to catch up.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You play GURPSs. Any opinion you have is therefor useless, if not just plain wrong.

  • n/t
  • by msobkow (48369)

    New! Google Watch!

    It can't tell you the time, but it monitors everything you do.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:30PM (#47059839)

    Just watch Idiocracy

  • I have script and ad blocks and bogus host file entries to speed up browsing but can honestly say I don't pay attention to ads when they get through, When looking for something to buy I do the search and find it hard to believe unsolicited ads bring in any customers.

    Are there really people who click through and buy something because an ad says they need it?

  • by ewibble (1655195) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:34PM (#47059889)

    I think advertisers are shooting themselves in the foot with this, I have recently noticed just don't believe a word any of them say anymore, Its like I am building up an immunity to them, and they need to create bigger and bigger lies, ops I mean deceptions.

    Before I saw a sale advertised as "Demolition", I went in and it was 10% off, well I could negotiate that any time, hardly a demolition sale, now I just don't even bother going in. If I need something I go in sure, but I don't go in because of a sale or stated discount, because they are so likely to be lying that it is not even worth the effort step inside the shop to find out.

    My daughter asked me how much I believed the advertisements on TV, and I said not at all, I then started paying attention to the ads and rating if I believed them, and if i thought they where using hiding some important fact from me. The answer was unless it was a public service ad where they where not trying to sell me something, like don't speed, I didn't believe them at all. And even public service advertisements I think they are fudging the truth in order for them to get me to do what they think is best for me.

    What we need to do is start charging to be advertised to, I think this specifically applies to junk mail, which goes directly in the bin, since I have to pay to dispose of it.

  • What! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:42PM (#47059981) Homepage

    There's no way I'm going to accept advertising on my souvenir Iron Man 3 soda cup!

  • In my opinion, Google seems to be degrading rapidly, along with the other social collapse happening in the U.S., documented in the book, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America [amazon.com].
  • Reminds me of Idiocracy, Robocop, and a number of other films featuring dystopian futures.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:56PM (#47060185) Journal

    I purchased my Nest thermostat before the Google buyout, and I've been quite happy with it to this point. I would like to make it clear though, that this device is MY property and not Google's.

    DO NOT ATTEMPT to spam me through my thermostat. The first time this happens, I will demand to return my thermostat for a full refund, and if that refund is not forthcoming, I will be the named plaintiff in a class action to compel Google to either cease and desist all advertising on devices I own, or remit a full refund of my original purchase price.

    I do NOT consent to spamming, ever.

    -jcr

  • I really think consumers should own their own behavioral data / preferences. I'll agree to put smart devices in my house if I control the data, I control who I give that data to, and I would only give that data out if it benefited me.

    Think about it. Maybe a national grocery store chain or two and GE want to get together and offer a subsidised smart fridge. I agree to let them monetize my spending habits and food preferences in exchange for the fridge being subsidised somewhat and targeted discounts for w
  • then Google can start collecting information on how often I open my fridge and then cross reference that with information from the supermarket (captured on those "loyalty" cards) that tells them the types of food I buy. From that they will determine that my diet is too high in trans fats and immediately notify every insurance company on earth to NOT sell me an insurance policy because of my poor dietary habits.

    Do no evil my ass. I don't trust any of those Google pricks with my information. Same goes for Fac

  • You know, it depresses me enough what we have to hack our phones to remove crappy "features" (disabled OS functions, bloatware) we don't want.

    I for one simply cannot wait to do the same to my new car/refrigerator/thermostat. In the meantime, one alternate plan that's worked very well so far is to not buy any new cars or refrigerators or $200 learning thermostats.
  • by UltraZelda64 (2309504) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @08:36PM (#47062131)

    Oh, great. Next thing you know, you'll be paying extra for absolutely worthless components added to appliances, just so it can sell you more junk. You'll end up buying a refrigerator with built-in temperature and humidity sensors. Why? Just so your fridge can tell you you need to buy a humidifier every winter, and try to get you to buy a central air conditioner every summer day you walk into the kitchen. Temp sensor go bad? Oh, don't worry--if you don't fix it, it'll just bug you that you need to get a new furnace every winter day until you get it fixed.

    Google, fuck you. And no thanks, you keep your ads away from my fucking appliances.

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