It seems that Google has taken on quite a few projects recently. Many of these projects seem obscure and abstract from the main Google business model of advertising. However it seems to be quite a clever strategy in the Google Camp, a strategy that they seem to be playing close to their chest. However, I think that I might have seen through the smoke screen and I will try and reveal what I believe Google is up to.
Let’s start by looking at how Google makes it money, through advertising. This is a highly lucrative business that has seem them turn over many billions in recent years. In order to provide views for their advertisers, they developed their search engine. Although these steps didn’t necessarily happen in that order, this is the current state of Google, and it has worked for them so far.
However, the world is changing and in order to keep up and not be left behind like their old rivals Microsoft they are inovating. Developing projects such as Andriod and Chromium, which many people may see as a side project to try and rival Microsoft or Apple, but not offer any viable business solution as they are open source projects.
However, with the introduction of Andriod 2.2 it suddenly hit me about the way that Google is going to use these tools to monopolise computing in every single way. The main feature that caught my eye was the ability to turn your phone into a wireless hotspot. This may not seem too radical, after all, tethering has been around for some time now. But the idea of having a personal wifi point with you all the time opens up computnig to some interesting possibilities.
If we now look at the Chrome OS project, this seemed like a neat solution to cloud computing however the question can be raised about the current state of infrastructure to support this. Not everywhere has wireless internet, and therefore a cloud based OS is not viable in the near future. Building WiFi in all areas of a city is proving diffcult, so to construct this on a national scale is infeasible.
This is where Android steps in, as there can now be a blanket of WiFi everywhere you go. Not only does that allow you connection to the internet but it means that through your Android phone you will be able to use your Google credentials to tailor how you use the internet.
I imagine the next few years where you can use your Google Phone to surf the net, and use GPS and use apps to start with, just like a normal smart phone. However, you will then be able to connect your Chrome OS netbook to the phone and use the internet, sync your files and location, record what you are doing and inform your Google Ecosystem what your inentions are. You will be able to connect your Google car system to your phone and download real time traffic, but you will not have to put in your destination, because it will know that you have jsut been looking up cinema times on your netbook and will ask you if that is where you want to go because you just brought tickets at a local cinema with your Google checkout system. When you get to the cinema you might see an advert for a TV program that you like and you will be able to set your Google TV to record it from your mobile phone.
On the way back from the cinema you might stop off at a restaurant for a bite to eat before going home to watch your TV program. When you get home the TV will bring up an advert from the restaurant you have jsut been too, and ask for your feedback, or even an advert of the rival company who are going to offer you a deal to go to them next time instead.
You will then watch your TV program, and see a product placement about a certain item, you will be able show a link on your phone, slate or netbook instantly telling you more informaiton and where to buy it, which can then be put into the car GPS again and the whole ecosystem is completely self supporting.
This is all possible tomorrow I am sure if Google decided to flick the switch. But the ecosystem that is being built up is going unnoticed until it naturally becomes engraved into our everyday life. With more and hardware being added to the ecosystem using this cloud technology.
The really clever thing about this is that everybody has a mobile phone, and therefore everybody’s habits will be different. You will be able to use your own phone as the key to your own online ecosystem. This will allow your car to behave differently between people, your TV to behave differently and even the computers will be tailered differently depending on which mobile phone they get there WiFi from.
This is the perfect way to target advertise whilst giving the user the best possible experience and personally I cannot wait as it will make a lot of things much more simple.
The interesting thing is that Microsoft and Apple will not know what has hit them until it is too late, by which time the ecosystem for Google will be complete and they will find it very difficult to catch up, in the same way they have done with search.