Google could potentially bring ads to things like NEST thermostats and more...
I suppose this was inevitable, but Google announced that they could possibly bring ads to things like our thermostats. This is something that a lot of people speculated about and feared during the Nest acquisition. I wonder about the logistics of it though -- e.g., would the ads subsidize the cost of a Nest (similar to what Amazon does with a cheaper Kindle)?
I have to say, right now my gut feeling is that if I saw some sort of ad pop up on the thermostat as I walked by, I'd probably tear my Nest off the wall! Is this an acceptable reaction to have?
I guess the main difference is that you're buying a television as a way to consume entertainment -- which is often supported by ads and sponsorships. It's something we've accepted and we're used to.
As it currently stands, I don't think we really want to accept and get used to smart appliances pushing us targeted advertising. But who knows, maybe that whole perception will change (similar to the recent shift that went from us buying physical items like games, books, and music to simply licensing them online through some sort of DRM server.)
Anyway, NOT IN MY HOUSE!
While I mentioned a Trane thermostat in my ZWave article, I should have mentioned that there are cheaper options out there. This one, for example: goo.gl/CzYZOk
It's clearly not as pretty as the Nest, and it won't have the features a Nest has on its own, but if you're going to do a home automation system anyway, $80 isn't bad for a thermostat that can be controlled like that one can. That's why I question the need to subsidize the cost of the Nest when there are alternatives out there.
Now, if you're just looking to replace your thermostat and nothing else, I can see how $240 is a lot to plunk down. I still don't think it's worth it.
My assumption, though, is that we'll see ads on the Nest app, and not on the Nest its self. Google already has a mobile ad platform in place so it would be far easier to bring in-app advertising than it would to incorporate text ads onto this very different device.
If an ad displayed on the thermostat, it wouldn't be useful. You can't 'click' on it, and follow through to buy a product. The need for a second device (either a phone or a computer) to actually access the content of the ad displayed on the nest would probably fail User Experience 101. It would also be very hard to track the effectiveness of ads in this model, unless specialized URL's were used.
Hell, while I am having fun with this, lets go overboard. The Nest could use its sexy sultry voice to read me ads whenever the motion sensor is activated as I walk by it. "Buy Katy Perry on Google Play Music" it would beckon to me as it followed up with a sample of the music.
As for Ads, I don't think they'll be on the device. And if I owned a Nest and I saw an ad then I would ignore it; just like all the other ads that I see everyday. Ads, aren't horrible, horrible things that we need to kill with fire. How else are companies going to sell you a product or service you are interested in?
On one hand, having a fridge tell you what you need and creating a shopping list is great. I always forget things.
On the other, having a fridge advertise to you as you walk by, is not great.
Now stretch that to the thermostat, are you going to get adds on solar power based on your power consumption.
Also, hacking. Already seen articles on web based baby monitors getting hacked.
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