Today's smart device is tomorrow's ad platform

A Google self-driving car is seen in Mountain View, California, on May 13, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/Glenn...

A Google self-driving car is seen in Mountain View, California, on May 13, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/Glenn CHAPMAN)

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, Last Updated: 3:21 PM ET

The connected home and the smart, autonomous car promise consumers new levels of control, comfort, understanding and security, but, if Google's vision of that technological future comes to pass, it could also mean pop-up ads on everything from the fridge and the thermostat to the car dashboard and every internet-connected device in-between.

In a letter to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, written in December and published Tuesday, the company says that it could be serving content and ads on "refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities."

Google decided to share its vision of the future in the letter, first spotted by the New York Times, in an attempt to explain to the SEC that the definition of the word "mobile" is evolving so rapidly that asking it to single out revenues from mobile is pointless.

We take mobile to mean smartphones and tablets, but before the end of 2014, Android-powered smartwatches and Google Glass will also fall squarely into the same category.

Likewise, Audi has just launched the new A3 in the US which is notable as being the first car on sale in the country to come with 4G connectivity as standard.

The same car company, along with its parent, Volkswagen, is also in partnership with Google to bring Android and Google apps to the car dashboard and a first public demonstration of Google's in-car entertainment system is also expected no later than the upcoming Paris motor show in September.

As potentially scary as this vision of the future may sound, the reason why Google's services are free is because they are funded by advertising. So, as annoying as it may be in the future to have to watch a 30-second video before being able to open the fridge door, it could be one way of driving down the costs of owning increasingly connected and increasingly smart devices.


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