Last week Google launched a new app (only for Android) called Field Trip. The company says that essentially Field Trip is “your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you.” It works as a virtual tour guide of sorts, automatically providing you with information of a particular point of interest that you come across. For us it’s another example of Google’s continuing investment in location-based services and local search, from the company’s acquisition of Zagat a year ago, to May’s launch of Google Now, its voice-powered local search tool that’s built into the latest Android OS. It’s also another way to show Apple who is mapping dominator right now.
How does it work?
The information the app provides can range from historical facts about a location to reviews of a nearby restaurant. And like Google Now, it relies on your location to give you the most relevant and useful information.
John Hanke, a vice president of product at Google, says “the idea behind the app was to build something that would help people connect with the real, physical world around them…It’s always running in the background, so it knows where you are and is always looking to see if something interesting is in your immediate physical environment.” He also mentioned that one thing Google wanted to focus on was moving the device out of the way and giving you the information as soon as possible without any annoying barriers.
What’s in it for Google?
Field Trip is a another step toward helping Google get its services and ads in front of mobile users. While it has long been a dream of advertising companies to deliver ads to people on their phones when they are near a business, that is still relatively rare. But with Field Trip, Google is able to show restaurant reviews from its Zagat service or sell deals from Google Offers or city tours from Vayable, all based on a person’s location, so it’s another step toward location-based advertising.
source: NYT Blog