Google Duplex is letting some users book haircut appointments in the U.S.
At Google I/O 2018, Google Duplex was one of the most exciting announcements. The service uses Google’s AI to call real establishments and talk to real people to book appointments for the user. Since its announcement, the service has rolled out to Android users in 48 U.S. states and the UK, Canada, and Australia. More than two years later, the feature can now book haircut appointments for some users at select salons in the U.S.
According to VentureBeat, users with supported devices are now able to instruct Google Assistant to make an appointment at barbershops and hair salons. The main highlight is users aren’t required to speak with another human, making the feature incredibly convenient for people who don’t have the time to call themselves.
When Google first demonstrated Duplex, booking a haircut was one of the uses the company chose to highlight. Unfortunately, booking haircut appointments may have been difficult to implement, which might explain why it hasn’t shown up until now. Meanwhile, Duplex users have been able to make reservations at restaurants on their phone or buy movie tickets on the web.
Once you set your preferences Google Duplex will do the rest. Screenshots: VentureBeat
To use Google Duplex to book a haircut, you’ll have to search for a nearby business. Once you find the place you want, tap on the “Request an Appointment” button, which will then bring up three options: men’s haircut, women’s haircut, and general haircut. Once you select your haircut preference, you can enter a date, time, and time range.
VentureBeat said users will have the option to enter in a stylist’s name if they’ve been to that business before, and they’ll also be required to enter contact information, such as name, phone number, and email address. If all goes according to plan, Google Duplex should be able to make an appointment without users having to intervene. Google Duplex makes it clear to call recipients that they will be recorded, and if they object to that, the call will be handed off to an operator, who will then make the appointment for you.
When Duplex was first introduced, it received mixed reactions. As convenient as the feature was, some people felt uncomfortable with how human Duplex sounded, prompting Google to test several disclosure methods to call recipients so they were fully aware they were talking to Google Assistant and not a human.