Google seems to have a fascination with slides at its events, and at CES 2020, I finally got the chance to give one of them a ride. Here’s a full review of Google’s CES 2020 slide.
In case you’ve missed it in recent years, Google has set up huge booths at major tech events including past years at CES and even Gamescom to show off Stadia. At CES 2020, Google is back with another massive booth, and mounted to the back, there’s a set of four slides that land riders in a ball pit at the bottom.
As with any attraction, the Google Assistant slide starts with a line, and thankfully, it moves pretty quickly. It starts downstairs, and unless you hit it during peak times, it seems like you can immediately walk upstairs to wait for your turn. Google sends four riders down at once every few minutes, so things move quickly. I’m glad it’s nothing like the “Google Assistant Journey” line or that absolutely insane line for the gumball machine (aka swag dispenser) that’s usually upwards of three hours.
Ok, here’s the fun part. After you’ve waited your turn, you can sit down and prepare to head down the slide.
But, wait, what about your backpack or bag? This is, unfortunately, the only thing the Google slide at CES failed to account for. At CES, most attendees have a backpack, purse, or some sort of bag on their person. Google mentions several times that personal items aren’t allowed on the slide, but there’s no place to check your bag.
If you’re like me and have a backpack at the time, Google will probably allow you to go down the slide, but with the backpack on your front. I cannot stress this enough, it’s an amazing idea and you’ll see why below.
At this point, I also want to take a moment to give Google some credit. On the second day its booth was open, Google temporarily shut down the slide to give it a thorough cleaning. Granted, that shut the slide down for several hours of the day, but it’s nice to see Google is taking the CES flu seriously. Plus, it looked like there was a coating being added to probably make the slide even faster.
Anyway, back to the experience. As your turn arrives, you’ll be asked to head over to one of the multi-colored slides (I picked red) and sit down in preparation of the quick ride.
The moment is here. The Googler on hand tells you to go, and you inch yourself forward to the tipping point. The slide is much faster than you’d first expect. It only lasts a few seconds, but it’s a whole lot of fun too. But what about the landing?
The ball pit
At the bottom of Google’s slide at CES 2020 is a ball pit filled to the brim with white and clear plastic balls. Upon impact, these balls fly forward in a wave toward the cameras recording you as you get buried underneath. This is why it takes a few minutes to get the next group down.
You’ll quickly sink in these balls, and especially if you’re wearing a backpack up front, it’s really hard to get up. Once you do, a team of enthusiastic Googlers assist you to the stairs where you can emerge from the experience, probably with a huge smile on your face.
What Google doesn’t mention before you get in line is that the slide also makes a GIF of your ride down. As you get out of the ball pit, Googlers are standing by with Pixel 4s in colored cases to match the slide, all with your GIF processed and ready to be sent your way. This can be done either via Google Photos or by email.
Remember how I mentioned that Google has you put your backpack in front of you? Well, it results in pretty much the best GIF ever. Because of the angle of the camera, all that’s seen is a backpack with a couple of sneakers sticking out of the bottom.
At first, the Googlers sending the GIFs actually thought I somehow went down the slide backward. Needless to say, this is my favorite thing to have come from CES 2020.
Worth the wait?
Yes, absolutely! The line for the Google slide at CES 2020 isn’t particularly long, and it’s well worth the quick ride down. 10/10! I’d would do it again! Of course, you’ll need to be at CES first to give it a shot.
More on CES 2020:
- Google’s CES 2020 booth gives a hands-on Assistant ‘journey’ with some snark
- 9to5Google Best of CES 2020 Awards
- Hands on: Wear OS kicks off 2020 w/ Skagen Falster 3 and other Fossil refreshes
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.