InfoWorld reports that Google has had conversations with Motorola and Sony about their products could best be used with municipal Wi-Fi networks. Google currently operates a Wi-Fi network in their home town of Mountain View, CA and is also in the running to build one in San Francisco. Google also sponsors a wireless network in New York City's, Bryant Park.
"We're doing everything we can to make this a playground for devices," said Christopher Sacca, principal in new business development at Google..."
The article also notes that Google is interested in the Sony PSP.
"There's like five million of those in the U.S. now, they've all got Wi-Fi in them. We're trying to do what we can to make those devices able to log on to this network," Sacca said.
Maybe a Google wireless games service (let's call it GGames) is in the works?
The article also touches on how Google might build and pay for wireless networks.
By keeping track of which access point a user is connected to, Google will be able to locate users within two blocks for the purposes of sending them advertising for businesses nearby, Sacca said. Google would sell ads by postal code, potentially uncovering a new class of advertisers among small local businesses that don't buy space in other media today, he said. Google's localized ads would be a more efficient way for them to reach likely customers, according to Sacca..."Highly targeted ads may be able to pay for these things," Sacca said.
In this post from October 2, 2005 I shared a scenario about how Google could eventually use a municipal Wi-Fi net to provide very targeted, time-sensitive, and localized advertising, even more localized than by Zip Code.
From the October post:
One thing is for sure, this Wi-Fi info could provide truly "local" and if required, time-sensitive search advertising if Google decided to provide ads. You're using Google Wi-Fi and hitting tower near the 1600 block of Market Street at 11:20 am. Then, an ad appears asking you if you're interested in walking just a few steps and having lunch at the Zuni Cafe at 1658 Market St? If you make reservations via the Google Reservation and Ticket Service (just guessing about this initiative), you'll get 10% off lunch, 20% if you come between 1-2:30pm..."
More about Google Wi-Fi in the article: Google eyes how mobile devices will use city Wi-Fi.