Get instant recommendations for things to do in London: Time Out launches conversational app on the Google Assistant

Get instant recommendations for things to do in London: Time Out launches conversational app on the Google Assistant

You can now instantly discover the best things to do in London via Time Out’s new conversational app on the Google Assistant. Starting today, users can “Talk to Time Out” to get inspiration for a night out or the weekend ahead, making it easier than ever to decide where to take your date, get your culture fix, or what to explore.

Always at the pulse of the city, Time Out’s editors curate unique, high-quality content about the best events, restaurants, bars, film, art, music and theatre for millions of people around the world to discover. To access this content via the Time Out conversational app, users can say “Talk to Time Out” on the Google Assistant to start a fun and engaging two-way conversation. The Google Assistant is available on eligible Android phones, iOS and voice-activated speakers like Google Home.

People who want to be in-the-know about what is going on in the city – whether at home not wanting to miss out, or already out on the town with friends – can ask questions to Time Out like, “Ask Time Out what I should do tonight?”, “Are there any Christmas markets?”, “I want to go ice skating,” “What’s a good theatre show this week?”, “Where should I go on a date?”, “What’s a great restaurant to go to tonight?”, or, “Surprise me.”

The app not only gives users instant recommendations, based on Time Out editors’ hand-picked things to do. It allows anyone to have a conversation with ‘their best friend in the city’, with a lot of local flavour and Time Out’s signature personality built into the dialogue. The creators of the conversation also hid serendipitous gems into the experience to bring this playful tone of voice to life (such as asking the app, “Where are you from?” or “What’s the word on the street?”). To make sure the app is seamless and helpful, Time Out has worked closely with Google to design a conversation that can address users’ expectations in different contexts. The smart design is built on Google’s Dialogflow, which uses machine learning and natural language processing to understand voice and conversational input in a natural way.

Time Out launched its first magazine in 1968, and its website over 20 years ago. Now the Google Assistant project is another exciting platform development for Time Out to reach an experience-hungry audience of millions of Android phone, iPhone and Google Home users.

Sanjay Vakil, Time Out’s Director of Product Development, said: “We were very excited to develop a voice-activated Time Out experience for the Google Assistant. As more and more people use conversational platforms, it is a natural step for us to explore the powerful channel of conversational UI and optimise our inspirational content for voice. It allows us to help millions of urbanites whenever and wherever they want great recommendations – this is a technology which could change the way people go out and discover the city.

“We are very proud of what we have developed in close collaboration with Google; this joint project once again demonstrates that we are serious about being at the forefront of new technologies that make it fun and easy to experience the best of the city.”

Alice Zimmermann, Global Product Partnerships at Google, commented: “We’re at the beginning of a massive shift towards conversational interfaces. Time Out has an extraordinary wealth of local content tailored for different audiences including families, singles, professionals, and couples. Since the Google Assistant aims to make daily things easy – like deciding what to do – Time Out is a great fit for our platform. The app makes it really convenient to make positive changes in your social life, no matter who you are.”