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Brief Published: 19 Nov 2018

Inspired Play: Inside Google’s Curiosity Rooms

Google Pixel 3 Curiosity Rooms

Google has just launched its Curiosity Rooms pop-up in central London – three floors of unapologetically fun, Instagram-primed activities devised to let people experience the features of its new Google Pixel 3. Highlights include product recognition, night photography and even a nod to digital respite.

Following its award-winning 2017 concept promoting its Pixel 2 phone, Google has jumped on the experiential bandwagon again with similar aplomb. The new pop-up highlights the phone’s in-built features – all of which were apparently inspired by the queries asked of its search engine – via contextualised experiences rather than traditional instruction.

The Vogue Top Shot installation is a micro photographic studio that instantaneously aggregates multiple shots into a single image – eliminating ‘flaws’ like people blinking. The Launderette showcases the phone’s Google Lens feature – an image-recognition tool that identifies products (from fashion to cars to buildings) and then produces a corresponding list of shoppable items. Adding a seasonal vibe, a Christmas grotto (tree, gifts, log fire, falling snow at the window) promotes a technically astonishing night photo feature. Two images were shot, one in regular light and the other in pitch-black darkness; both equally crisp and richly coloured.

Revealing how the phone caters to a generation bred on social media, the pop-up’s All-In Auto Wash highlights a wide lens tool solely created to accommodate group selfies without the need for a selfie stick. More surprisingly, digital respite underpins an American-style café-diner installation – a space where the calming properties of tea set the scene for the phone’s Wind Down feature. By flipping the phone screen face down, notification noises automatically disappear.

Additionally, the Curiosity Coliseum is housing a series of live events including talks, podcasts and workshops until the pop-up ends on December 16.

A data-capture monster, the photos, gifs and videos accompanying the vignettes require the submission of an email address, while all imagery belongs to Google’s marketing machine.