Why Google and T-Mobile are bringing back phone booths

Google is setting up yet another campaign to push the Google Assistant. This time around, the company is teaming up with T-Mobile to install experimental demos in signature T-Mobile stores in Chicago and San Francisco for three months.

The demos aim to blend old tech with new tech — they are styled after phone booths, and inside them, customers will be able to both demo hardware like the LG G7 ThinQ, JBL Pulse 3, and Google Home Mini, and software — the Google Assistant. Of course, once you have experienced Google Assistant, you will be able to buy compatible devices from T-Mobile.

One of the demos is called “Tiny Gym,” and basically involves customers asking Google Assistant to play a workout playlist while customers use resistance bands. “Tiny Kitchen” involves Assistant looking up recipes and setting timers for cooking time. Last but not least is “Tiny Museum,” in which customers can pick up a phone and use Google Lens to learn about paintings and artists featured in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Google says the demos will be running for “about the next three months,” and you can check them out for yourselves at T-Mobile’s flagship stores in Chicago and San Francisco.

Google has been pushing Assistant a lot over the last few months. This isn’t even the first time we have seen the phone booth demos, which first showed up at CES earlier in the year. Then, just a few months ago, the company launched a mini-golf pop-up in New York City, in which each hole was aimed at showcasing what Google Assistant can do in a different room of the house. It’s likely we will see more experiences like this as Google continues to take on the likes of Amazon’s Alexa.

It’s also pretty likely that we will continue to see more and more devices will Google Assistant loaded onto them over the next few years. JBL recently announced the Link Bar, which a sound bar with Android TV and Google Assistant loaded straight onto it. Not only that, but dozens of new phones with Assistant are launched every month — only further growing Google’s ecosystem.

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