Back in September, Digital Trends reported that Google would open pop-up shops in New York City to showcase its latest and greatest hardware. Google will open the doors of its new 96 Spring Street pop-up shop on October 20 to the public. The space will be open throughout the holidays to tempt people into buying Google’s Pixel phones, Daydream View VR headset, Google Home, and Chromecast Ultra; but you won’t be able to buy any of the products at the store.
We strolled into 96 Spring Street to see Google’s new hardware ecosystem in action and walked away with a better understanding of the search giant’s future trajectory into the great unknown landscape of artificial intelligence. Google’s AI Assistant is at the core of every experience we saw at the pop-up shop. Here’s what it’s like inside Google’s new space.
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The open floor plan is divided into sections for each product. When you walk into the building, the first thing you see is a gorgeous wooden structure in the middle with a giant Google logo and colorful G in the center. The wood spans out across the ceiling like wings. Natural wood, white walls, and bright pops of color set off the majority of the space. There’s an amphitheater-like space with wooden steps and white cushions near the entrance, and then you see the Pixel phones.
You can try out the phones just like you would at Best Buy or an Apple Store. Google also tempts you with a display of its cool Live Cases against a curving wall that’s decked out in art by FAILE, a Brooklyn-based artist collaboration.
Beyond the phones, you’ll find a big virtual reality space where you can test out Google’s Daydream View VR headset. It looks like a vivid green jungle from a video game. Google representatives are available to walk you through how to use the headset and the controller in a few fun demos, including a 360-degree video, a tilting game, and Harry Potter’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
On the other side, you’ll find Google Home and Chromecast Ultra. You can check out these devices on their white pedestals or pop over to the kitchen or living room setups to see everything in action.
In the kitchen, you can demo using Google Home to help you adjust your Nest thermostat, play music, read your daily agenda, answer questions, read recipes, and more. The living room setup is all about Chromecast Ultra, the Google’s Wi-Fi router, and Home working together in concert to stream video and music on demand.
The Google pop-up shop is a super fun place to visit if you’re interested in Google’s new products or if you just want to get a taste of what AI can do in the real world. We left with the impression that Google is dead serious about creating an amazing ecosystem held together by Assistant, and we couldn’t be more excited about the future.
If you’re in the Big Apple, go check it out at 96 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012.