New Google Shopping Tool Predicts Inventories

Just about every major retailer has an online store -- and most can show you whether a particular item is in stock at a local store. Still, wouldn't it be great if there was some dead-simple way to scan store shelves while you're out and about? Say, from your smartphone?

Google thinks so, and they're working a new search feature that can do just that called "In Stock Nearby."

Picture this: you're lunching with a friend who mentions the amazing new light fixtures they picked up at Pottery Barn. Intrigued, you Google for "Gothic Lantern," and Google shows you the nearby retailers that have matching items in stock and the sale price.