During this pandemic and subsequent lockdown in some areas, one of the realizations that a lot of people had is that they took salons and barbershops for granted. Getting a haircut became a much-missed necessity. And now that local businesses are starting to open up and are struggling to stay afloat, supporting them has also become as important as actually getting a haircut. Google Duplex, the company’s AI chat agent, is finally letting you book these appointments without having to actually place a call.
When Duplex was first introduced two years ago, booking a haircut appointment was what they used to demo the AI agent that will place the booking for you. But somehow when they eventually rolled it out, the focus became restaurant reservations. When the pandemic hit, it became a way to ask for store hours and check for product stocks as well. Now finally, the Duplex technology will let you book that much-needed hair appointment.
Venture Beat shares that users with supported devices will now be able to book barbershops, hairstylists, and salons for appointments and reservations. You can do so using any device that has Google Assistant or access to Search and Maps. You have to tap on the Request an Appointment button on the place where you want to have your haircut. Currently, there are only three options: men’s haircut, women’s haircut, or general haircut.
After choosing which, you then choose your preferred date, time, or time range. You also can say if you’ve been to the establishment before or if you have a preferred stylist. Duplex will call the business and identify itself as an automated call and that the call will be recorded. If the person on the other end of the line replies with something like “I don’t want to be recorded”, the call will be handed off to a human operator or an unrecorded line.
Booking hair appointments through Duplex is currently available in the U.S. only. Duplex itself is available in other countries like the U.K, Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and Spain but for now, those are limited to restaurant bookings and asking for stock availability.