Location aware search quietly added to Google Now
Google Now users in the US and some other locales can now ask the search app about a place they're near without mentioning it by name. For example, you might be standing in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and simply ask "How tall is this?" and Google Now will be able to discern what you're asking about based on your mobile device's location data.
Google hasn't done any type of formal announcement of this new feature, except to demonstrate it and share a few promotional videos on stage at the SMXParis search marketing conference in France on Tuesday. These revealed that users can ask Google Now basic questions about nearby locations without using any proper names, including queries about dimensions of landmarks, the length of a river. depth of a lake, operating hours of businesses, etc.
I tried it standing in my house here in my small hometown of Taos, New Mexico, presuming that I would stump Google Now. I asked the app running on an Android phone simply, "what time does this place open?" and I was given the operating hours for Taos Pueblo, arguably the most significant landmark nearby, whose property begins just down the street from here. Not bad.
You can also ask about the history of points of interest nearby and even issue commands, like "call this place."
For it to work, you'll need to have location detection turned on in your device's settings and be standing near some place that Google has some location or point of interest data on, which should be most businesses and landmarks. You should be able to speak your queries to the Google search app or Chrome on Android or iOS and get a response without using any keywords.
Try it out and let us know in the comments what interesting discoveries you're able to make using the new feature.
The new functionality can be seen in action in the videos below.
Source: Search Engine Land