Google Now Alerts You If You're Near a Product You've Researched Online

The Motorola Moto X smartphone, using Google's Android software, is displayed, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 at a press preview in New York. In the background is a Deck, from Sol Republic, which is a wireless speaker that operates up to 300 feet from the phone using Bluetooth technology.

Google is attempting to bridge the online and offline worlds with a new feature in Google Now that alerts you if you walk near a product you've researched online.
"You’ve been looking for the perfect pair of hiking boots online, but haven’t gotten around to pulling the trigger. Starting today, if you’re out and about and near a store that carries those boots, you might see a Google Now card showing you the product and price to remind you that you wanted them," reads a Google Plus post. "Now all you have to do is pop into the store and check if they’re in stock!"

Reps from the company couldn't be reached for comment about how close you need to be to such a product and whether you can turn off the feature. The enhancement comes on the same day Google announced it was expanding same-day delivery for Google Shopping Express in parts of New York City and Los Angeles. Like the Google Now tweak, that program benefits merchant partners rather than profiting Google directly. It's not clear what kind of cut — if any — Google takes from Google Shopping Express.
If Google could connect search activity with offline purchases (perhaps via Google Wallet), then the company will have solved a problem that bedevils all online advertisers. Facebook is looking to do the same by partnering with data mining firms Datalogix, Acxiom and Epsilon to target ads to consumers based on their previous offline shopping behavior.

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