Google is said to be preparing to distribute mobile devices to small businesses around the country allowing customers to check-in to these venues. This service is being produced to help Google compete with location-based services already out there like Foursquare, Facebook Places and Yelp.
Approximately 8 million of this devices will be distributed says a source close to the project. These devices will also allow customers to rate and review establishments and maybe even use Google Checkout to purchase items.
Tech Crunch reports that Google will be giving away these devices for free in the beginning, but it is unclear as to whether or not they will start to charge business for them once the product becomes more lucrative.