Tech USA

Google Duplex launches on the web, starting w/ movie tickets

At I/O 2019, Sundar Pichai announced that Google Duplex was “moving beyond voice” and coming to the web. After publicly testing in late September, Duplex is officially launching today as “Google Assistant in Chrome” to help you buy movie tickets.

While getting tickets online is not hard, it’s can be a tedious, multi-step process that is inconsistent from site to site. With Duplex, you can just interact with an interface presented by Assistant while Google does the work of selecting and navigating the web.

It starts by asking Assistant on Android for movie showtimes or searching from the Google app. After selecting a movie time, there is a pill-shaped “Buy tickets” button next to the usual list of ticketing providers.

Tapping slides up an Assistant panel while the the selected theater’s regular mobile page loads in the background. On first use, you’ll have to accept the terms and conditions for using “Google Assistant in Chrome” and that site’s cookie policy.

Instead of interacting with that third party, you just interact with Google’s interface. The first question is, “How many tickets would you like?” with Duplex on the Web, then inputting the answer and progressing to seat selection. This process is interactive, and you can slide down the panel at anytime.

The last step is “Confirming your details” and entering a payment method. Your profile image is in the top-right corner, while a blue bar and loading indicator denotes progress.

According to Google, Duplex for movie tickets supports more more than 70 cinemas and ticketing services: AMC, Fandango, MJR Theaters, and Movietickets.com in the US, or Odeon in the UK.

Google hopes to expand Google Assistant/Duplex on the web to more complex tasks in the future with car rentals coming next. This joins using Duplex to make restaurant reservations, and both widely rolled out today.

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