Feeds

Google slaps barcodey stickers on Favourite Places

Like Michelin stars but scannable

The Power of One Infographic

Google has sent out 100,000 window stickers to US businesses, proclaiming them to be Favourite Places and providing a QR Code for a quick link to information and reviews.

The QR Code is a variant on the traditional barcode, and readable by the majority of smartphones using the camera, the codes sent out to businesses link to a Google Place Page which can contain opening times and the like, along with customer reviews in a distinctly Yelpish style and nearby photographs.

Google reckons you'll be walking down the street and see one of these Google-branded marks in the window, run up a QR Code client and use the camera on your mobile to connect to a page containing opening times, business information and user-generated reviews, not to mention the all-pervasive advertising which is the point of the process.

For the hard of thinking Google provides an explanatory video:

That means Google can advertise to people who weren't even planning to use the internet, who visited Google in cyberspace in response to a physical manifestation of the Mountain View brand.

Businesses are at liberty not to put the service mark into their windows, and those with poor reviews will probably choose not to, but Google will be maintaining a Place Page on them anyway accessible through Google Mobile Maps. It's easy to imagine routinely checking restaurants and hotels against the Google Place Page, with the associated transfer of trust and reliance on crowd-sourced reviews.

That might be a marvellous thing - rather than relying on brands (such as Premier Inn, Pizza Hut or Starbucks) one could find better local alternatives, assuming one trusts the reviews on Google. But it also makes it very difficult for competing services to get a foot in, when there's only so much space available in the business window. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.