Thursday, December 17, 2009

Google & QR codes

Every day it's a little less clear where the online world begins and the offline world ends—or vice versa. Case in point: a new effort just launched by Google uses window decals to help the most searched-upon local retailers forge online connections from the bricks-and-mortar store.

How it works? As part of its Favorite Places on Google effort, the search giant has identified more than 100,000 local businesses in the U.S. that are searched upon most often by users. They include restaurants, stores and other establishments in more than 9,000 towns and cities across the nation, and each one of them will soon receive a window decal from Google featuring a scannable QR code. Patrons and other passers-by can then scan that code with any of hundreds of mobile devices—including iPhone, Android phones, BlackBerry and more—and be taken directly to that business's Place Page on their mobile phone. There, they can find reviews and coupons or "star" the business as one they want to remember for later; soon, they'll be able to leave reviews as well. Apps that can read the QR codes include the USD 1.99 QuickMark app for iPhone users.

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