Google Assistant is getting consistently better. This week, Google launched a new feature to Assistant that allows it to essentially book movie tickets. It’s a pretty handy feature that completes the process for you in a matter of seconds.
The feature basically allows you to ask Assistant to book tickets for a movie, after which a “Buy tickets” button will pop up with movie times and walk you through the movie-booking process. That’s all without needing to navigate through any websites yourself or download any extra apps. It’s kind of like autocomplete on steroids.
According to Google, the feature works with more than 70 cinemas and movie-booking services, including the likes of Fandango, AMC, and more. It works with cinemas in the U.K. too, including Odeon.
It’s important to note that all the work here is being done by Google Assistant — and not the cinema services themselves. The likes of Fandango and AMC could have easily coded ways for their apps and services to work with Google Assistant — but in this case, Assistant is using what Google calls “Duplex on the web.” This feature can navigate websites itself, and then complete the purchase of movie tickets — meaning that it heads to the website, finds the movie and time that you want to watch it, presses the correct buttons, and so on. The feature was first announced at Google I/O 2019.
The feature is likely to get smarter as time goes on. While it’s currently limited to booking movie tickets, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it be able to navigate to all kinds of websites and services, book other events, buy products, and more. Currently, the feature only works on a smartphone — but it’s possible it could eventually make its way to Google Home speakers too, which would allow you to book tickets using only your voice.
In fact, we already know that the feature is set to be expanded in the near future. At Google I/O, Google demonstrated how the feature could be used to book car rentals — and Google says that feature is the next to be released. It’s currently unclear exactly when that new feature will be rolled out to customers.