In the Future, We All Will Be Google-ApprovedS

Furthering its advances into our physical realm, Google today announced a plan to display window decals in over 100,000 businesses that will designate them as the Google's "Favorite Places." More details, a demonstrational video and Big Brother fearmongering below.

The businesses were chosen based on search rankings in Google and Google Maps, and each will be given a decal with a QR code that can be scanned with your phone to access reviews and coupons. You'll need an app to do the scanning (for iPhone users Google is magnanimously offering today's first 40,000 downloads of QuickMark for free).

It seems convenient enough, although presumably people with access to a QR scanner on their phone will also have access to Yelp or Citysearch. The main point seems to be giving Google's brand ubiquity a boost, with a Google Favorite Place sign acting as an egalitarian counterpoint to "Zagat Rated" or "Michelin Starred." And eventually, when we all have our QR codes tattooed on our foreheads, Google will let us know everything about each other right away, which will at least save us a lot of time on first dates and job interviews. [Official Google Blog]