As further evidence that there are no depths to which companies won't stoop when it comes to advertising, HP has come up with a great idea: Get people to hook their printers up to the internet and then spew advertisements out of their printers.
Well, it's a win-win situation for the companies doing the advertising: Not only will people see your ads, they'll pay for the ink and paper to print them. Maybe not such a great situation for the end-user though.
And then there are the privacy implications of targeting ads based on geolocating the IP address of the printer. Which I find a bit disturbing, but I guess advertisers already do that with online ads. But wait, there's more:
Ads can also be targeted based on a user's behavior as well as the content, said Vyomesh Joshi, head of the HP's Imaging and Printing Group.
Looking at what I'm printing so you can try to sell me things? Just a bit creepy.
Most troubling to me is the intrusiveness of the whole thing. They're taking control of a physical object in my house and using it against me. May as well kidnap my cat and train him to spell out "BUY PEPSI" in his cat litter.
Quote some slimeball at HP:
"What we discovered is that people were not bothered by it [an advertisement]," Nigro said. "Part of it I think our belief is you're used to it. You're used to seeing things with ads."
Translation: "We know this is a really horrible idea, but if people are complacent enough to sit there and take it without complaint, what's stopping us?"
He's right though, people are used to it.
I guess TV, radio, internet, phones, product placement in movies and games, print media, billboards and the postal service just aren't enough. Clearly what the world really needs is another ad-delivery mechanism.