back to article Google gets physical on Hotpot

Google is sending out stickers, embedded with NFC tags, to businesses in Portland, Oregon, so customers can tell Google where they are with a tap of the phone. Those customers will need "cutting edge phones like the Nexus S", but assuming they have one (featuring NFC), then the handset will read the tag in the sticker and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not content with tracking where you shop online

    now Google knows exactly where you shop in meatspace too!

  2. Ian Yates

    QR codes

    Why not include QR codes on these as well?

    Oh, wait, Nexus S...

  3. The BigYin

    That is...

    ...quite frankly, terrifying.

    1. Jolyon

      (\/) Ó_ò (\/) terrified crabs (\/) Ó_ò (\/)

      Is it?



    2. Chronos
      Big Brother

      Nice business you have there...

      ...shame if anything were to "happen" to its reputation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        All I will say to that comment is .....

        'Do no Evil'..... in the words of a scally - "My Arse"!

        I just love technology.

        Watch out for the time they shave a line up your chest just before they put you in that big truck for the last trip.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Minority Report...

    You know when Tom Cruise is walking through the underground & all those adverts are reading his retinas & providing 'personalised messages' (alongside alerting the police of his presence of course).

    It didn't take long to get from fiction to present day fact did it?

    At the moment it is just a sticker from Google, but before long we'll have it tattooed to the back of our heads.... at birth.

    Mark my words, the end (i.e. final solution) is nigh!!!

  5. Adam Foxton

    A step backwards!

    Stacks of phones (including pretty much every smartphone ever) have cameras, so reading QR codes is just a software package away for them. Plus they can be displayed on screens, obscured unless you're looking at different angles, included on business cards and other cheap disposable crap, AND- potentially crucially- they can be used to determine the user's 3D position relative to the tag. Pretty accurately, too.

    Plus, with a half-decent camera, you can read them from a distance. Multiple people can read them at once, on demand. They can be captured on photos- so your family photos could be fed through a tag-reader and you could get a label showing, for example, where you had that lovely meal in Milan last summer. Or they could parse your Picasa albums to get the same data for you.

    Stick Lat/Long/Alt/Direction Faced (and physical tag size) information in tags and you could use them to supplement other positioning systems- so in GPS black spots you could have a bit of software that knew where the tag was and where you were in relation to it then spat out a $GPRMC string to help stop it losing a position fix.

    All with a bit of software rather than requiring a whole new NFC infrastructure.

    Yes, NFC is a lovely idea. But it's just too damn low-tech to be useful in modern and near-future society. You get none of the potential AR payoffs, none of the spacial awareness, none of the useability in crowded spaces. Plus the real killer- anyone from a 5 year old to a 105 year old can knock up a QR code in seconds for a cost of pennies using software and a printer, so they can quickly become ubiquitous (which will become all the more important as AR as an aid for the elderly takes off). With NFC devices, not so much.

    Oh aye, and you can embed them in adverts- or embed adverts in them!

  6. Doug Glass

    "cutting edge phones like the Nexus S"

    Guck Foogle and the horse it rode in on too. Love my low tech phone with no working trackers.

  7. Doug Glass

    Uh Huh

    And the general public is either too ignorant to know what they're doing or they don't care. Either of which is "terrifying". But hey, let the unaware lambs mark themselves and march right on in; keeps the bad guys with plenty to play with and maybe keeps them away from me just that much longer.

  8. Doug Glass


    Because the vast majority of the "connected" world get their sense of self from others, not from within. They're addicts pure and simple and need that "social fix" to feel whole and complete. Sad, but I have to say, when a given network goes down it's a whole lot of fun watching the withdrawals real time.

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