The home screen of Google’s new Chromecast device may not stay this serene forever: Code snippets discovered by independent Chromecast developer Leon Nicholls reveal that Google (S GOOG) is considering to add rotating banner ads to the screen that currently just displays dreamy photos of coastlines, mountains and the occasional butterfly.
The code included dozens of additional lines related to the display of banner ads, including some hardcoded Urls for sample banners. However, these images don’t actually load, resulting in 404 errors instead. (The home screen image above was mocked up by Nicholls to show how these ads could theoretically look like.)
I asked Google for a comment about their plans for this, but haven’t heard back.
There are a few things worth noting here: First, we can’t necessarily conclude that this will ever see the light of day. Secondly, plenty of other connected devices contain banner ads of some kind. Roku devices for example use these kinds of banners to advertise channels available on Roku.
And that last point is likely key to the question of how people are going to perceive this, if Google decided to go forward with this and actually put banners on the Chromecast home screen. Banners that tell people of new capabilities — which is what we are hearing might have been behind this — may actually be welcome by Chromecast users. Animated Gifs advertising the latest soft drinks on the other hand may lead to a very different reaction.
Updated at 2:37pm. An earlier version of this post mistakenly stated that the banner ads were marked as a prototype. Updated again at 9:48pm with additional details.