Google owns the web. Now it wants to own public spaces.
The idea is simple, actually. Cities license public spaces to Google. Google makes profit and cities get royalties to reinvest in the city.
How would it work?
When users are on the web, the first perception is that they are entering the vacuum of digital space. But in reality, people are always somewhere.
When Google shows an ad, it means the algorithm believes you are the right person receiving the right message at the right time. If Google could create data on physical places and generate value on our attention in public spaces, there wouldn't be the need for “right space” in that equation.
But, as “the future is mobile”, the “right space” also represents a crucial component of this match-making process, and could increasingly underpin the success of Google’s predictive algorithm, in Google’s words.
In the future, Google wants to become a partner of the “smart cities” and it believes that can overcome all competitors. Their monopoly on the web would advance to the physical realm, and that just might be the future of global tech conglomerates.