If you thought Google had gone too far in its quest for ad dollars, think again. The search giant turned advertising agency has now applied for and been awarded a patent that allows ads to be served based on “environmental conditions” of the user.
This means that Google wants to gather information about the weather conditions, where you are as you use a Google product or make a phone call, and then serve you ads relevant to that weather. For instance, if the sensors pick up cold temperatures where you are, it will serve you ads that sell warm clothing, and if you are somewhere that is raining, umbrella ads, or something of the sort, will arrive.
This patent application is both ingenious as it is preposterous. Only recently, Google moved to consolidate all their privacy policies across its 60 separate services, which now allows them to compile detailed information on users and use that for so-called contextual targeted ad serving.
This brought about an uproar from rights bodies in the US and Europe but these all fell on the deaf ears of Larry Page, who seems obsessed with beating Facebook at any cost. The patent has received mixed reactions from the technology fraternity, where some are saying it was a fair innovation while others are not so kind.
Naga Saravan Golla wrote on thenextweb.com: ‘That will be really annoying!’ and Wayne Smallman said: ‘What desperation. Google, you’re losing it.’ Only two weeks ago, an ex-Google executive said the Google he knew as an innovator is no more and what is left is an advertising company.
The bottom line seems that Google is shifting its focus from being the company we all loved because of great new products it brought us to just another ad company that will do anything for another buck. If Mr. Page were not so fixated on Facebook, he would realize he is single-handedly flushing Google’s great reputation down the toilet.