The web meets world: Google favourite places, Sixth sense and augmented reality


Google has recently announced the favourite places on Google, a project that enables and merges offline and online interactions for local businesses.


It works as follows: the 100,000 local businesses in US, handpicked by Google, get stickers containing QR codes that they can display on their doors/windows/menus. When a potential customer scans the QR code using his mobile camera, which has a QR code reading application installed,  the QR code is converted into a URL (the URL of the business page on Google Maps places)  and the browser displays the page from that URL that contains information about that place like user reviews and ratings , coupons and hot deals etc.

This is potentially revolutionary because  this enables one way for you to get instantaneous more information about a place you are visiting. The other approach is to let you check-in manually to a place that is nearby to your location and discover deals , coupons etc. When you check in to that place. this is the Foursquare/Gowalla approach and business model.

Yet another approach is to use the sixth sense technology to scan your surroundings , ISBN bar cods etc to get instantaneous information about your immediate neighbourhood of people, things and places. Pioneered by Pranav Mistry that technology has a huge potential.

Layar is another key player into the augmented reality sphere.  by pointing your mobile phone to a point of interest in your neighbourhood (like leaning tower of Pisa) you can get all the information you need about that place layered alongside the actual visuals.

All of these are exciting new use of technologies to bridge the gap between the offline and online world. Which of these will be the winner is anybody’s guess, but what is sure is that there is a demand for such technologies and applications and the world and the web can both do with some competition and alternatives.

However, one should note that most of these are available only in US or the western countries and even there the mass adoption has not taken place. that may change soon and I’m optimistic that these would be available in India too pretty soon. However, most of these rely on an existing collection of data about local businesses and places –and in India that data is not that readily available.

How soon do you think this will take off in India? and would you scan QR codes/ carry sixth sense devices if they are readily available and ubiquitous? Or are there India specific barriers to adoption of these technologies?

  1. Mitul says

    We have been working on this for quite sometime and we already have a working prototype for some handsets. So 5 weeks is totally possible (in fact, our technology is already ready for some particular handsets).

    1. Sandy says

      Hi Mitul,
      I wish you and Mobicilca team all the best. We need many more such bleeding edge innovation stories form India. Hope we will have something nice to say about your launch a few weeks from now:-)

  2. Sandy says

    @Rakesh, @Vishal, @Mitul we may debate about the expected timelines, but what is certain is that it is the future of how we interact and merge the offline and online world. While 5 weeks seems so optimistic, 5 yrs seems too pessimistic. Maybe in a few months, we would start seeing some of the early adoption and availability of these technologies in India.

  3. Mitul says

    Well we at mobiclica ( are working on a similar but much broader and innovative technology. We already have generated a lot of interest from prospective customers and will be out with our first solution very soon.

    So Rakesh, it will not be 5 years but maybe 5 weeks for the first version! :-)

  4. Vishal Sanjay says

    Definitely this is gonna be a great way of communication. I truly don’t think it would take 5 years for india, i think one year after it reaches Us or UK.

  5. Rakesh says

    These technologies are certainly going to be the future of communication. They will become part of our day to day work…..For India, I think it will take more than 5 year minimum.

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