Google Duplex still feels like magic to this date, allowing you to place reservations, order food, and get accurate business opening hours without ever placing a phone call yourself. And it looks like you'll soon also be able to get a spot on a phone-based restaurant waitlist, according to VentureBeat. One of the publication's journalists is part of a random limited A/B that gives him access to a new "Request to join waitlist" button in business listings on Google Maps.
Upon tapping said button, a Google Assistant interface opens up, asking you to specify your party size and how long you can wait. Like with any other Duplex-based interaction, Google Assistant will then call the place in question for you and handle reserving a spot in the waitlist. In the process, you'll be receiving updates via SMS, giving you details on your spot or if anything goes wrong. In VentureBeat's case, the desired restaurant's kitchen was already closed, so Duplex threw up an error message, signalling that it couldn't secure a spot.
Image Credit: VentureBeat.
When VentureBeat reached out to Google to ask about the new feature, a company spokesperson shared, "[W]e’re constantly experimenting with new features that use Duplex technology and do not have a timeline on when [or] if this specific capability will be available to the broader Google Assistant users [or restaurants]." Since we haven't heard of the feature in the wild from anybody else, we assume that Google is still deep in the testing phase and not willing to announce Duplex' waitlist capabilities just yet, if it even decides to pull through with the option after the experiments are done.
Since Duplex' inception during Google I/O 2018 as an automated restaurant reservation system, the company has expanded both availability and features. It's available in (almost) all US states and a few more countries, and it has learned to book movie tickets, help with rental reservations, ask for opening hours, and more, with some of these features being available on the web.