Hanging out at the #GoogleHouse

See what I did there?


Last week, a friend of a friend at Google invited me along to find out how Google will change the future. The pitch?

Let’s face it, we’re all busy. Whether you’re plotting the fastest public transport route across London, trying to order a drink in Paris en Français, or cheating at a pub quiz, Google is there to help you get the information you need. Fast. We’d like to invite you to Google House, where you’ll see first-hand how Google can help make the lives of you and your customers easier.

And they weren’t wrong. But first, let’s take look awesome #GoogleHouse is (or was).


The Kitchen


The Teenager Bedroom


The Living Room

Basically, this beautiful four storey house in London’s Fitzrovia was turned into a Googley-fied house of the future.

And it was awesome.

Glass.... and me. #googlehouse

Obligatory ‘Whatley wearing Google Glass’ photo.

Three things I learnt:

  1. Google Chromecast? I want one of those. It’s a bit cheeky of Google to demo a product that isn’t currently available in the UK (EDIT: Amazon UK has Chromecast available now!) but still, it was really cool.  In fact, any of you reading this in the US, I’ll PayPal you the money right now. Come on, let’s do this.
  2. Google’s voice-activated search and translation is incredible. It’s unbelievable how much it has come on over the past year or so and it easily blows Siri out of the water. Everything from contextual awareness re previous/current searches, through to actually translating a conversation between two people, LIVE, is amazing. Very, very impressive indeed.
  3. Google Glass was cool, but not for me (yet). I used someone else’s set, and it was a noisy room, and they weren’t connected to my device (which is a key part of the experience). So yeah, not yet.

Overall? I had a LOT of fun and it’s great to see Google step up their game in the consumer-facing market here in the UK.

Long may it continue.

PS. Big love to the amazing guys over at the Sorted Food. They ran the Google/Kitchen demo and I’ve been watching their videos ever since. Check them out.

PPS. More photos over on Google+ (natch).


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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

4 thoughts on “Hanging out at the #GoogleHouse”

  1. I love concepts and live demos as much as the next person, but everytime I see something like this, its never using decorations or furniture that any of us would use. And the color choices… horrible.

    A better (real-er) design would be one room done, another other rooms in various stages of progress, with Google showing how they don’t just fit in the completed vision, but how things look as you get there. Because, let’s be real, unless you have the budget for a complete home and tech make over, this just isn’t happening.

    Ok, rant done.

    The Chromecast is nice. I have one and use it from time to time. I don’t use it more because, well, who likes their Chromecast stuttering their Chromebook to broadcast a tab of media for something that’s not yet native to streaming straight from Chrome? I like it, and there’s a lot about it that continues to make sense. Thing is, its a friendly play for the living room, not a revolutionary one… yet.

    The rest of Google… well, they have some great ideas happening. They also leave me wondering how having a Google account and using fully/not-fully their environment will make or unmake you as an ideal citizen [for Google]. What happens when the next-tech-elite start building their own similar experiences, and making those easy for others to emulate? Google as your living room pushes that discussion forward.

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