Google is taking search to the streets with 2D barcodes. The Internet giant announced that it will be sending 2D barcode window decals to 100,000 of the most searched for local businesses across the country.
The decals are part of Google’s “Place Pages” program, which is intended to create a decentralized mobile search environment.
According to a blog post, each window decal has a unique 2D barcode that users can scan with their device’s camera, which then takes the user directly to that business’s Google Place Page. With a mobile phone and the new decals, users can walk up to a storefront and get reviews, coupons or start the business as a place to remember for the future.
In order to scan the codes, users will need a phone with a camera and an app that can read 2D barcodes. For Android-powered devices, including the Droid by Motorola, Google recommends using the free Barcode Scanner app. For iPhone, Google suggests the QuickMark app from the App Store.
According to the blog, Google has partnered with QuickMark to offer the app for free for the first 40,000 downloads.
2D barcodes have come of age recently. While advertisers still question the technology’s reach, barcodes have proven effective at reaching the smartphone set.
Neustar, the company behind the Common Short Code registry, recently announced an agreement with NeoMedia Technologies to have Neustar act as the exclusive patent licensing agent in the United States for NeoMedia’s intellectual property for two-dimensional (2D) barcodes. The agreement was intended to create a “one stop shop” for consumer brands to use barcodes to deliver rich media and services to mobile consumers.