Googles internal startup incubator, Area 120, unveiled last year, has to date led to the creation of a number of projects, including a personal stylist app Tailor, a voice messenger Supersonic, and most recently, an app for watching YouTube videos together called Uptime. Weve now spotted another appin development over there calledAppointments, a salon booking tool.
Appointments has not yet been publicly released to the app stores or web, but its project page is currently live at salon.area120.com.
The app appears to be a competitor of sorts to more robust scheduling services like Vagaro, StyleSeat, Square Appointments, Mindbody, and others. However, unlike some of its rivals, the app goes beyond offering justanonline booking system, but also includes an integrated website for participating businesses and a tool that turns SMS client texts into booking links.
The website and bookings app work online or via mobile devices, the site says, and will display to customers a weeks worth of availability. The business website, meanwhile,can also include other information, like the services offered at that location, directions and a map, photo gallery, price list, and contact information, like theaddress and phone number, for example.
As the project is clearly still in its early stages, there isnt a lot more information about the technical details, the team behind this project, or its larger plans if any to monetize. The app download link, which also doesnt yet work, does imply that it will be free.
Despite the limited information,this project in particular could be interesting for Google, which today works to list businesses on Google Search and Maps. It also today aids businesses with setting up their web presence, from buying their domainsto setting up theiremail, and even creating basic websitesand making them work well on mobile devices.
However, Googlehas yet to offer software specifically dedicated to booking appointments online a space that Microsoft moved into with the launch of its Office 365 service, Bookings, announced last year.
If Appointments becamesuccessful, its reasonable to think that it could become an alternative solution to Microsofts, designed to fit in with Googles own suite of productivity tools.
Of course, at this time, its too early to say what will become of Appointments in the future.
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Area 120 projects, by way of background, are meant to encourage entrepreneurial spirit within Google, instead of losing valuable team members to startups. According to prior reports on how the incubator works, teams first submit business proposals to Google, which, if accepted, let them join the program and work on their product for a few months. They may also have the opportunity to pitch Google for additional funding.
These teams are based in Googles San Francisco offices, but donthave a dedicated press contact for inquires at this time. Attempts to ask Google for more detailsthrough main press channels have gone unanswered.