"Stranger Things" photo booth transports visitors to Hawkins with the help of Google technology
Google’s pop-up store on 5th Avenue provides a fun look into new entertainment. The company shows why their presence in the tech industry is becoming a much larger one with just two words: “Hey, Google.”
Complete with a pixelated screen displaying the Google logo, the pop-up welcomes visitors with a touch-accessible game of pong (a simple, back-and-forth rally game from the 1970s) that allows visitors to play against a partner.
Throughout the pop-up, there are several displays pairing the Google Home and Google Home Mini with home-like displays of books, coats, and toys to show the ease with which the Google Home fits into everyday life. Printed on the walls and on certain ceiling displays provide suggestions of what users can ask Google to do: such as talk like Yoda, tell a Santa joke, or spin a dreidel. These products are therefore advertised as practical and useful—but also extremely fun to use.
The pop-up also allows guests to test out new VR headsets and the Google Daydream View, which is an improvement on similar technology from years past. By slipping on the VR goggles, users can be transported to various scenarios, and can go from flying over the jungle to swimming past a school of fish or a predatory shark.
To display the excellent quality of their phone cameras, Google set up an entire photo booth studio, where visitors can choose a colored light background—from a wavy rainbow of colors to a large blue and white snowflake—to have their pictures taken.
But the main attraction of the pop-up has been a recreated set straight out of Stranger Things, the Netflix original series. The Byers’ living room is created in full detail—down to the used cigarettes in an ashtray, boxes of Eggos on the table and unfolded laundry in the corner.
Visitors could take a picture on the couch with any of the available props, and underneath the iconic, alphabetized Christmas lights from the first season.
The set was used to advertise Google’s new phone—the Pixel 2—and its exclusive augmented reality stickers. These can be applied to the camera, and contain animations of varying designs to make the photographing process more interesting. In the exhibit, stickers included leaping Demogorgons and Eleven eating waffles.
Unfortunately, the Stranger Things experience is no longer available at the pop-up, but the store will remain open until Dec. 31 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily so visitors can check out Google’s new phones and other home tech products.
Though Google’s technology is impressive and tirelessly fun to experiment with, the Stranger Things exhibit is hard to beat. But those who missed it (or just want to experience again) can always buy their own Christmas lights and props to decorate the wall—as long as the black paint is removable.