Google has announced that it will be starting its first local rollout of Hotpot, the Google Places recommendation/rating engine, in Portland, Oregon.
Google is sending out kits, complete with window decals, to businesses around Portland. The businesses can set up the kit, set up an info page on Google Places, and slap the decal on the window; if somebody is walking by and is curious about a business, the idea is that they can just briefly hold their phone up to the decal and additional information about the establishment will be pulled up on the phone.
The decals aren’t just simple stickers, though, as they integrate Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, definitely something that is geared specifically for Google’s upcoming Nexus S phone that features NFC technology too. Once everything is on place, NFC-equipped devices will be able to touch their phones to the sticker to bring up additional information about the business.
Google’s now distributing the signs on a trial basis to Portland, Oregon businesses as part of a larger Google
Google is also giving doing another Hotpot Jackpot along with this campaign:
“…to encourage Portlanders to start rating the places they know and share them with friends and family.Everyone over the age of 18 who lives within a 50-mile radius of Portland can participate, and the top five raters at the end of the competition will win dinner for 10 at any restaurant in Portland, courtesy of Google. To kick things off, all of the fans at tonight’s Trail Blazers vs. Magic game will receive t-shirts announcing the competition and supporting the Blazers.”
Hotpot + the Nexus S just made Portland, Oregon one of the most interesting places on Earth right now for location based services, advertising and ratings.