December 10, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Google is launching a special promotion in Portland, Oregon to promote Google HotPot/Places. In the pilot program, Google will distribute Google Places Business Kits that includes custom business cards, stickers, cups, pens, and other promotional materials for the businesses’ presence on Google.
The stickers will be the most recognizable tool because business can put decals in the front of their establishment. Someone with a NFC-enabled phone like the Nexus S can then scan the sticker and get more information about the business. Yes, it would probably make a lot more sense to do something crazy like open the door and walk-in to find out more information about the restaurant, but there must be some reason Google is bothering with distributing “Smart Text” stickers. (My guess is coupons, events, and specials of some kind.)
Portland serves as a pilot program for Hotpot, which is Google’s venture into location-aware ratings and recommendations. People in PDX can participate in the Hotpot Jackpot competition by rating places. More information is available here.