Can Google's Entry Make Smartphone Barcode Scanning A Reality?

The scenario of consumers using their smartphones to barcode scan for everything from price lookups to quickly gathering more product information via the Web is nothing new. But despite all the talk, it hasn't progressed much beyond being in a lot of hypothetical scenarios.

Is Google's entry into the space likely to change that? U.S. and U.K. owners of mobile devices running the Google Android operating system can now download from Google a "Barcode Scanner" app that allows them to use their phones to scan UPC/ISBN codes with the phone's digital camera. The application has been integrated into Google Product Search for Mobile.