THEY'RE COMING. Coming to take over the world. Or it feels like that sometimes.
This week, as we languish in the post-IFA slump with a promise of a month to go until all the new hardware, including the Google Pixel 3, of which there's not much more to tell, we're doing something a little different.
One thing that you can always guarantee when you go to MWC, IFA, CES or any of the other major shows is that Google will be out in force.
Recently, it has been plugging Google Assistant like billy-oh with huge posters. But there's usually something a bit special for visitors. At IFA it was a booth-crawl badge hunt.
This time it went a little further.
From the first day, we saw them. Hundreds of them. Sometimes in packs. Sometimes in smaller groups. All dressed identically - white outfits, baseball caps and bumbags, and a pair of brightly coloured Converse in a Google colour. Milling around, like Jonestown disciples looking for something to drink.
It was a little unnerving, not to mention strange. But of course, their motives were benign. This time the game was similar. Visitors were given a lanyard with a list of vendors, all of whom had products which integrate with Google Assistant.
One of the Jonestowners' was camped out at each booth, ready to hand out a button badge, each showing a different aspect of Google Assistant's skills.
Collecting four bought you the right to go and visit Google in its outdoor cove, conveniently for us, right near the press room.
There was (for some reason) a huge gumball machine, and you got a go. Instead of dispensing gum, it offered up some pretty cool prizes - from Tile trackers to Google Home devices.
Okay, so it's not exactly news - but it's a bit of fun and a chance for Google fans who read this column regularly to see Google at its most Google-like.
And for fans of Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds' to have a mild coronary.
Normal service resumes next week. And since you ask, no, we didn't have a go, we were too busy working. μ
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