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The Hottest Thing Since Yelp and Foursquare

Who needs Yelp? With Near Field Communication-enabled window stickers in tow, Google has started rolling out Hotpot, Google Places' recommendation/rating engine.

Writes Engadget: "Yelp may be the raconteur of restaurant recommendations and Foursquare the cardinal of check-ins, but Google has an ace up its sleeve: NFC chips."

Beginning with Portland, Oregon, the search giant is sending out Google Places Business Kits with window stickers featuring NFC, which carry information about the business on its Places pages.

"Well, now we know exactly why the Nexus S (and Android 2.3 Gingerbread) have NFC capabilities," writes The Next Web regarding Google's latest smartphone and mobile operating system. "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."

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"Suddenly stickers are cool again!" enthuses Bernardo Hernandez, Google's director of emerging marketing.



"While we're of the opinion that stickers are and will be perennially cool, we do think the NFC tech twist is a neat trick," writes Mashable. "While Google has already dipped its toes into location ads within Google Maps and Search ... its Hotpot marketing scheme is something entirely new."

Noting that Facebook is already experimenting with NFC stickers for local businesses, The Register writes: "One can envision a time, not too far off, where a user will be faced with different service marks at the same coffee counter, and the decision of what to tap where, and when, in order to say who they like on which social network -- though the big question remains... why."

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