I recently visited the Google store in London to get some ideas in terms for layout etc for my final project exhibition show. I took my Google Glass with me to take some photos and videos, and then played around with the things they had on show.
From the outside of the store, which is located inside a Currys PC World store in Tottenham Court Road, Google have an interactive installation that consisted of a lot of different moving parts. These included some cogs, balls and a bicycle from Google’s headquarters in California. From the inside of the store, the bicycle had handle that could be turned and a big button could be pressed to release balls that ran along a Rube Goldberg esque series of ramps. It has had a series and small displays which showed the most popular current Google searches.
Inside the store there was a small table with seating that had some devices set up to use, ranging from Chromebooks, smartwatches, tablets and phones. The was my first time trying the Nexus 6 and 9, and I was impressed with both. For the past few years I have bought each years Nexus phone on launch, but with the 6 being £150 more than the usual £300 and being a student, I wasn’t able to get in last October. I particularly like the fold up tables in the seating area.
There was a large interactive screen which allowed you to graffiti over the Google logo with a digital spray paint can. I didn’t recognise the PCB within the clear can, it wasn’t an Arduino, Pi or any Beagle board I had ever seen, but I could see an SD card reader located on it.
In one of the corners was a large Google Earth display with custom controls. The controls featured a touch screen, a joystick and a Leap motion. The leap was mainly used for hover above a location to reveal more information about it, such as longitude, latitude and population. The device was also able to play Pac-man on a custom maze, very similar to the Pac-man Google doodle from a few years ago.
A common theme with the store was the use of rounded corners, diagonal lines and exposed wood. These aesthetics don’t really follow Google’s material design, but still looked great nonetheless.