With SXSW going on in Austin, Texas, the big focus in the blogosphere is on location-based applications, probably most of which are tied somehow to social networking. Personally though, I find Google’s Product Search for mobile with local inventory much more interesting.
Live as of yesterday, the mobile application lets searchers see in product search results if products are in stock at nearby stores.
For example, in the image above, a search for Wii Fit displays a result with a blue dot and phrase “In stock nearby” underneath. If the searcher clicks on the phrase or dot, they’ll be taken to the seller’s page where there will be more information, a Google Maps listing and the option to get directions if My Location is enabled.
Currently the application works on the iPhone, Palm webOS and Android. It also works from Google.com if the searcher clicks on Shopping under the More tab–all from a mobile browser of course.
Right now, only a few retailers are participating in the program including Best Buy, Sears, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn and West Elm. Other businesses that wish to participate can film out this form.