Feeds

Google slaps barcodey stickers on Favourite Places

Like Michelin stars but scannable

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.