The experience on offer isn’t quite as exciting as the quotes I had read before my visit made out. Yes the offer of playing with the hardware is great and was novelty when Apple introduced it, but now as an experience for the jaded technophile it falls a little short of amazing. That’s not to say we didn’t have fun flying around the interactive Google Earth maps on the Portal, the option of watching Google Play movies and YouTube in the Chromecast Pod and reworking the Google sign into Geolytix.
You’ve got to view to revenue
Whatever Google’s business plan is its simple maths: more views more revenues. Advertising sustains the whole process and to keep people choosing Google as their number one search engine is the challenge. A few square metres of floor space in a well-established retail outlet will raise the profile a little and could be a cost effective taster for the wider market. If successful there is scope to expand to other Currys PC World stores (next is Fulham and Thurrock) but that relies on effective symbiosis between the two concerns.
Who stands to gain?
Are we going to Currys PC World to visit The Google Shop or is Google hoping customers will be drawn to their visual displays while already shopping. With ever increasing competition in search engines (especially in India and China) even a ‘household name’ cannot be complacent. Customers in central London may enjoy playing with the software and Google will hope their logo will be firmly imprinted on their retinas as they leave.
If you’re keen on getting even more hands on then the store hosts regular classes and events including children being able to enrol in ‘Virtual Space Camps’ to acquire basic coding skills although information on these sessions is hard to come by.
For a fun hour away from the office and if you’re in the area drop in for a doodle on the wall or a fly through the world at The Google Shop. You might even be lucky and get a free tote bag and plastic wallet for your oyster card.