Last week’s news that Google would buy Nest triggered a lot of discussion on the future of marketing (this cartoon was inspired by a joking tweet from Valleywag’s Sam Biddle). Nest makes smart home devices like learning thermostats (which I personally love) and smoke alarms, with the goal of creating a conscious home. It also collects a lot of data.
The news jumpstarted a broader conversation about the Internet of Things, which was also the theme of CES this year. CES showcased a wide range of Internet-enabled objects, including a smart tennis racket and a Bluetooth toothbrush that tracks your dental hygeine.
As everyday objects in our homes, cars, and general lives start to connect, this has the potential to bring tremendous utility to people. For marketers, it also teases mouth-watering insight into and access to individual consumers.
“Google and Nest have the potential to do great things together for users and consumers, but don’t expect that to happen without users giving up some more of their precious data to the search giant. All that remains to be seen is how that will happen, and what people get in exchange for that access.”
The pressure will be there for new devices in the future. Imagine the field of ad retargeting applied to the Internet of Things. There will definitely be a firestorm of debate about data security and privacy as these devices propagate. But this also has the potential of getting us closer to the Minority Report dystopia I parodied last year.
(Marketoonist Tuesday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Tuesday, an extra day this week because of the MLK holiday. Thanks!)