Google's Product Search for Mobile with local inventory, which Google Engineering VP Vic Gundotra used to check whether a Canon EOS camera was in stock at local Best Buy store, is now live for U.S. users of Google Android smartphones, Apple iPhones or Palm WebOS phones.
To use this service, go to Google.com in your mobile browser, tap on the "More" link and then choose "Shopping."
Users searching from their mobile phones for a product sold by Best Buy, Sears, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn or other participating retailers can look for the blue dots in the search results to see if it's available in a local store.
If there is a blue dot associated with a product, users can tap the "In stock nearby" link to go to the seller's page. This will tell users whether the product is in stock nearby.
Users who have enabled My Location on their phones will also see how far away the stores are:
To see Gundotra's demo, go to the 19:10 mark of this real-time search event here:
Google Product Search for Mobile with local inventory is a nice way to connect users to local businesses, which should bring more businesses into its advertising fold for the Google Local Business Center.
This is tangential to my occasional opining on how Google is becoming more interested in e-commerce, but it shows Google's continued interest in using the Web to drive sales for businesses, and advertising for itself.