Small local business patrons in Portland, Oregon (the greatest city in the United States and home to almost half of ReadWriteWeb's staff) will soon be able to tap their phones against the snazzy Google Places window stickers shown above. If they have Google's very latest mobile model, or presumably almost any smart phone in the future ("cutting edge phones like Nexus S") then the magic of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology will promptly navigate their mobile browsers to the Google Places page corresponding to that location.
Who wouldn't want a sticker that tells every passerby that their business has been recommended by one of the world's biggest brands, Google? Presumably that will become true for most places in short order, then people will buy more stuff, Yelp will quake in its boots and we'll all be in Location Based Nirvana.
Take that, Facebook Places, you might have an equally morbid fascination with consumption of goods as the pinacle of location technology (hey, something's got to pay the bills, right?) but you don't have NFC, yet!
Google has chosen to start its efforts out in Portland, Oregon but will expand in time to places far beyond. Portland has its own location based technology innovators, some arguably with a greater vision, but we shall see if NFC makes even Portlanders want to buy, buy, buy.
If the stickers alone aren't enough, participating businesses can now order Google Places branded coasters, pens, fortune cookies (died red), after dinner mints and more. The location-aware future is here, people, and it has arrived in the form of an after dinner mint.