When Google has an idea for a fun or useful project based on one of their established properties, they will often categorize that project under the heading of Google LabsGoogle Labs have been created on everything from search, to Gmail, to Picasa.  And today, a new Labs opens its doors: Google Toolbar Labs.

Limited to the Internet Explorer 6 web browser, for now, Google Toolbar Labs debuts with two toolbar variations with different goals. One toolbar includes enhanced location detection and the other optimizes the toolbar for the Chinese character set.

Both toolbars are based on the standard IE Google toolbar and support the different standard features like Google Rank, toolbar buttons and more. But what they offer in addition is interesting:

  • Google Toolbar with My Location: This toolbar includes an advanced feature that can determine the general area the computer is in by IP address. It then uses this information in its enhanced Google search by area feature. If you are using a laptop with Internet Explorer already, this feature can come in handy by letting you quickly search the local area for the resource you need, even if you don't know exactly where you are.
  • Google Simplified Chinese Toolbar: This toolbar is pretty clearly geared toward Chinese IE users. It features a space-optimized layout better suited to the Chinese language and features a new sidebar mode for managing bookmarks. It also has built-in buttons for translating foreign-language web pages in to Chinese.

Google Labs promises that these are just the beginning for this new offshoot of their now widespread domain of Google properties. We hope so, because honestly we don't spend a whole lot of time in Internet Explorer any more, and it would be interesting to see if a new killer app toolbar came out for a different browser like Firefox.