The evolution of wearable devices is still very much in its early years, and upcoming milestones like the release of the first Android Wear models or the long-rumored iWatch could go a long way to changing how we look at the technology. While this maturity promises to bring us better user experiences and more refined ways to interact with these devices, what about the downsides? As wearables become a larger and larger market, they’re bound to attract the attention of advertisers, and a recently published Google document reveals that the company has already been thinking about how it might like to serve ads on such platforms.
In a statement to the SEC, Google attempts to make the case for why it shouldn’t have to divulge separate data specifically about its mobile operations, arguing that “mobile” keeps evolving to mean new things – while it was once just phones, it now encompasses tablets, as well. It continues, writing:
“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.”
Ads are Google’s business, so of course it’s going to be thinking about plans like this, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it any. Advertisements on smartphones are a necessary evil we’ve largely learned to live with, but there’s something that feels qualitatively different about a little banner ad on a phone app, compared to a notification that’s popping-up three-quarters of an inch away from your eyeball.
It’s also interesting to see Google talking about bringing advertising to connected devices – and specifically thermostats. Will Nest one day display ads while it’s not in use?