Google tells the SEC it could soon be serving ads on thermostats and other devices (Update: Google says no ad-based Nest)
Those who expressed concern about Google’s acquisition of Nest may have have been right: the company has told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it may choose to serve ads on “refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google made the statement in support of its contention that it shouldn’t have to break out ad revenue from mobile devices.
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.
While the statement is purely a defensive one – the company not wanting to share more data than it has to with competitors – the specific thermostat example seems unlikely to have been chosen completely randomly.
Google added the Nest smart thermostat to Google Play three months after purchasing the company. Nest remains on sale in Apple stores, both retail and online.
Nest was created by former Apple engineer Tony Fadell, the man dubbed ‘father of the iPod.’ Fadell sought to allay concerns about Google’s acquisition of the company soon after it was announced, promising that all data collected by Nest was used only to improve the product, and that any changes to that policy would be opt-in. Nothing was said about serving non-personalized ads, however.
Update: Google gave the following statement to Engadget…
“We are in contact with the SEC to clarify the language in this 2013 filing, which does not reflect Google’s product roadmap. Nest, which we acquired after this filing was made, does not have an ads-based model and has never had any such plans.”