Google just announced that the mobile version of Google Product Search can now tell you if a certain product is in stock at nearby stores. Currently, Google is only working with a handful of retailers, including Best Buy, Sears, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn and West Elm, but the company is actively looking for more partners. To see these results, just browse to Google.com on your mobile phone (Android, WebOS or Android), click the "more" link and then "Shopping." The local inventory will be updated in real time and is currently only available for users in the U.S.

Google obviously thinks that providing the best local results possible is the future for a large number of its services. Now that most modern mobile browsers can forward your location data to web apps, it's become even easier for Google to offer these kinds of local results and Google's initiatives around Google Maps and Place Pages show how serious the company is about local search.

For now, with this small number of participating retailers, this isn't necessarily the most useful feature yet. If Google actually manages to get more businesses to use this feature (and/or to expose their inventory through an API), then Google Product Search - which has remained relatively underused - could easily establish itself as the go-to local shopping service.

For more details about the mobile version of Google Product Search, have a look at this video (the introduction of Product Search starts about 19 minutes into the presentation)