Google Gets Patents for More Smart Home Devices to Track Users

Google pretty much controls our internet usage and tracks most of our activities, to make using apps like Uber and Zomato a pleasant experience. Add to that, you have the Google Home speaker in your living your room listening to your conversations.

But it’s possible that the search giant isn’t done with snooping, which brings us to its latest patent, that talks about more smart home devices being lined up.

According to this patent listing from Google, titled Smart Home device for better personalisation suggests new technology solutions that will track user preference, even inside homes, and recommend them ads for products.

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The first patent refers to a device that’ll do much beyond what Google’s smart home devices are capable of right now. This device will be able to scan and analyse items around the user, and recommend them content; product, movies or even music based on what it tracks.

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Just to give you the chills, here’s a hypothetical scenario. If there’s a Queen T-shirt lying around in the room, the user will get an option to watch the Bohemian Rhapsody movie or listen to its music.

It also has something called object identification technology built in, that can decipher the age and gender of the person speaking close to the device. While these things are already taking shape in countries like China, Google maybe sees them as a vehicle to personalise content for its users even further.

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The new version of Amazon’s Echo Plus smart speaker. 

If this patent doesn’t get you worried enough, then Google’s listing here talks about a sensor-based system that will help parents monitor kids inside their rooms. It will also alert them if any foul language is used, heard via the microphone and notify if the kids enter places restricted to them in the household. Black Mirror episode anyone?

And finally, Google is keen to diversify its Digital Well Being feature and make it accessible for usage of electronic devices as well. The third patent will enable tracking of phone/tablet/TVs during the day, something which will be available to Google’s advertisers and partner apps.

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All these are scary propositions for the user, who’s already embroiled in a fight between convenience and privacy. Luckily, devices and technology at the patent stage don’t necessarily make it through as a product. Maybe for privacy’s sake, they shouldn’t.

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