They came in the mail, thousands upon thousands. And Portland businesses have obediently applied them to their windows: white stickers, the size of a pulp novel, with the distinctive red pinpoint icon of Google Maps.
The stickers advertise one of the Internet giant’s newest services-, Google Places. Portland is the first test city for Places, which is like an online Yellow Pages that’s updated by users and is free (for now) to businesses that want a listing.
What most passersby—and some retailers—don’t know is that the Google stickers contain a tiny chip that can send a signal to the latest smartphones.