A recent upgrade to Google’s search engine will mean that people will now be able to search for the real-time position of anyone they know.
Working through the location-monitoring devices of the public’s smartphones and tablets, such as GPS and pings off nearby Wi-Fi networks, the search firm will be able to locate specific individuals that users are looking for through its service.
The new feature is currently being trialled in a number of US cities, including Delaware, Las Vegas and Menlo Park, California, which is also where Google is based. It is believed that the search company first developed Google Bloodhound, as it is reportedly known, to allow it to quickly find any of its tech geniuses who had gotten lost within its vast headquarters complex.
Although its coverage has so far received positive reviews, a number of patches may need fixing, including a small area in the Nevada desert.
Anyone in the pilot areas will be able to access the new feature by simply typing their query into the traditional search bar on their phone or desktop. This will then locate the individual, who will be sent an alert to confirm that they want to be found. If they accept, the search engine will relay their location back to the user.
Apart from Bloodhound’s many applications for assisting with search engine optimisation (SEO) – especially when it comes to attracting people to certain stores, businesses and restaurants – Google also revealed that it believes the feature may be able to help internet marketing specialists to develop a real-world approach to promotions. It highlighted that sandwich boards could prove useful in this regard.