12/07/2009 06:00:00 AMWhat if you could decide where to shop, eat or hang out, with a little help from local Google users?
It might take you a while to ask them all, so to make it easier we've launched a new effort to send window decals to over 100,000 local businesses in the U.S. that have been the most sought out and researched on Google.com and Google Maps.
We're calling these businesses the "Favorite Places on Google" and you'll now start to find them in over 9,000 towns and cities, in all 50 states. You can also explore a sample of the Favorite Places in 20 of the largest U.S. cities at google.com/favoriteplaces.
Each window decal has a unique bar code, known as a QR code that you can scan with any of hundreds of mobile devices — including iPhone, Android-powered phones, BlackBerry and more — to take you directly to that business's Place Page on your mobile phone. With your mobile phone and these new decals, you can easily go up to a storefront and immediately find reviews, get a coupon if the business is offering one or star a business as a place you want to remember for the future. Soon, you'll be able to leave a review on the mobile page as well, just like on your desktop.
It's been clear for a while that Google's next move was the fight to be the OS of the mobile web. While Apple was first out of the gate with the iPhone, the Droid is now coming to market. Unlike Apple, Google is making it's operating system available on a full range of hand sets.
Whatever the outcome, it's clear that the world is now moving to the stage of hand held computers that take the internet into the real world. Once computing enters the real world, the unique values of print as an interface become apparent. Check out the links in the tweets below, if you want to see what I'm trying to say.
Print products are interfaces to online information - Columbia Journalism Review http://ilnk.me/ab0 and In Brazil vid http://ilnk.me/b64