A future where customers browse for products in stores while at the same time browsing the internet on their mobile phones looking for better deals just got a little bit closer to reality.

Google has recently launched a clever little application to extend the functionality of its Google Product Search search engine. Consumers with mobile phones running Google’s Android operating system – such as T-Mobile’s G1 in the UK – can download an application that will let them scan the barcode of a product instead of typing in a product name to bring up search results for where they can get hold of it online.

Google says that at the moment, the barcode scanning functionality works best for products such as electronics, books, movies or video games, but it is working on adding more barcodes for other items.

So if you see customers scanning barcodes in your stores, you will know what they are up to.