In 2016, at least two manufacturers decided to give a first concretization to the dream of the robotic home assistance. It is not yet the robot to do everything that one imagines, but rather a small box that is triggered by voice and answers all sorts of questions – time of day, the agenda of the day , News, a recipe, a guide, an incorrect definition … in short, a kind of search engine in the heart of the house to which one can also graft features such as control of lights or control of a race in VTC.
The two companies that have taken the first step on this scene are Google and Amazon . As a reminder, the first created an undisclosed business around advertising; The second is an online store. When one knows this, one can hardly be surprised at the story that appeared yesterday in the American media: several users of a Google Home were surprised to hear a custom suggestion after an innocuous request. The box of Google has in fact advised several people to go to see the Beauty and the Beast , the last live-action of Disney. Obviously, one can only imagine an exclusive partnership between Disney and Google,
— brysonmeunier (@brysonmeunier) March 16, 2017
Contacted by The Verge , Google nevertheless asserted that this interaction had not been imagined as advertising, but as a recommendation. ” It was part of the My Day feature, which, after giving you some information about your schedule, sometimes recommends exit ideas. We continue to experiment with how we bring content to users and we recognize that this time we could have found a better way to do it . ”
Excuse accepted for the benefit of the doubt, especially since it fits perfectly with the functionality described: any suspicion of advertising dismissed, I personally would appreciate that a house assistant reminds me of the cinema releases of the day – especially if they can please me.
I PERSONALLY WOULD APPRECIATE THAT A HOUSE ASSISTANT REMINDS ME OF THE DAY’S MOVIE RELEASES – ESPECIALLY IF THEY CAN PLEASE ME
But it is impossible to get rid of the idea that if the best can exist, the way of the worst is also open. Unlike a web browser that has an interface on which the user is active and can choose the results of his searches, sort the sites and judge what he sees fit, an object like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa is an interface that does not ‘ Has only one input and one output. Question, answer. Relevant at best, scandalous in the worst .
In fact, these boxes are also favored channels for advertisers who could put a lot of money on these new formats, while classic advertising is in crisis on the web. Imagine the bargain: a user asks Home or Alexa how he should maintain his bike, and the gear first brings an excellent response and then suggests a tire brand.
The user is in a benevolent disposition, ready to buy equipment since he wants after all to maintain his bike and receptive to the advice of a machine that has just helped him. Product placement is ideal. In this case, Amazon has in addition the missing link that does not have Google: ” Super! Would you like me to order this tire on Amazon for delivery in the afternoon? “. The chain of action is obvious and the return on investment for such campaigns could be incredible for brands.
Everything seems to lead us to believe that if advertising is not yet present on Alexa or Wizard it is only a matter of time before it interferes in conversations we conduct with our virtual servants . Hard to imagine a world in which Amazon or Google would not grasp this opportunity – unless, of course, consumers sanction this practice with their wallets.