Google Showing Competitors How to Monetize the IoT Today, Not Tomorrow

What’s next? Ads popping up on the fridge in the kitchen, your car’s dashboard, your digital watch, even your brand new $1500 Google glasses? It’s a strong possibility, if Google’s crystal ball gazing proves true.

Google Showing Competitors How to Monetize the IoT Today, Not reported recently on a Google letter filed with the SEC that offers a few glimpses into how the company could monetize the Internet of Things, the next big thing in technology.

Market researcher IDC forecasts that the IoT will feature billions of connected devices by 2020 with a market potential worth trillions of dollars. That’s trillions…with a “t”.

Making money off the IoT, that is the monitoring, measuring and reporting of all kinds of interconnected devices, is going to be huge, bigger than anything we’ve seen before in technology. And Google is positioning itself to lead the way. For example, Google acquired Nest Labs, makers of sophisticated home thermostats that can adjust themselves according to activity in the house, earlier this year for $3.2 billion.

Samsung has incorporated Google‘s Android operating system into one of its new “smart” refrigerators with a touch screen interface. Google’s also working with Audi, GM, Honda and other car makers to develop Android-powered dashboards that can carry Google-sponsored ads. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, Google says in its SEC letter.

The potential Google clearly sees regarding monetization opportunities for interconnected mobile devices, especially in terms of targeted advertising, is vast. It’s plain and simple. Google is showing us how they plan to make money via the IoT over the next few years, and that strongly underscores what I’ve been saying here.

The potential for making money is here and now. It’s not in the future. The IoT is the strategic imperative for all companies if they expect to stay ahead of the competition.

So, if Google’s road map on how it might make money off the IoT is any indication, now’s the time to start writing an action plan. If you wait, you lose.

– Brendan O’Brien