You May Soon Need to Install a Thermostat or Fridge Adblocker

This article provides a perfect explanation as to why I’ll never buy Google Glasses or a Chromebook …

Ads, they are everywhere on the Internet, on television, radio, on the street and in magazines. One safe haven remains, and that is your home, provided that you are not browsing the Internet, watching TV, listening to radio or reading magazines. That’s about to change though if Google gets its way. In a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, sent in December but disclosed yesterday, it confirmed that it had plans to bring advertisement to “refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, watches” and other devices and locations a few years from now.

Google believes that its advertising systems will become more and more device-agnostic and the company plans to aid advertisers with new enhanced campaigns that make things as easy as possible for them to deliver ads to all supported devices.

Diversifying the company’s advertisement portfolio, from being almost exclusively web and mobile based, is the next logical step in making sure that revenue growth continues.

While ads on the Internet, TV and radio are a normality for most users, it is likely that ads on household items will face stronger resistance than the company expects.

Google devices are already used in many homes, from Chromebooks or the Chromecast to mobile devices and Nest thermostats. There is also Google Glass which gets some traction right now, Android watches which will come out eventually, and the company’s cooperation with car manufacturers to bring Android powered dashboards to transportation devices.


New locations to display advertisement may provide Google with additional insight, something which is not available to the company right now.

As far as the refrigerator goes, you may see cookbook ads, ads for grocery stores in your vicinity, or mouthwatering dishes that make you head out to the restaurant serving them immediately. The thermostat may display ads for warm clothing for example. Google may also use the information to display ads to you on the web or on your devices.

So what can you do about that?

The most obvious option is to avoid products that ship with these features directly or with capabilities to deliver these features to those devices through updates.

It is not clear how Google plans to deliver ads to those devices. The most plausible option would be via a device’s wireless connectivity functionality.

If you can turn those off, or block the device from using those, then you may also be able to block ads running on the household item.

What is your take on this? Would you install a thermostat or fridge in your home that may display advertisement to you?

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