A new find in the Chromium repository for Chrome OS seems to indicate that Google's laptop operating system could soon get a demo mode feature similar to Android's. The system would be a marked improvement over how Chromebook demos currently work, which ordinarily requires quite a bit of effort on behalf of a retailer's IT team. In fact, there isn't currently an integrated way for retailers to display a device running Chrome OS at all. Instead, IT admins need to push applications or a forced URL to Chromebooks via the Admin Console. The newly discovered feature seems to change that by implementing a demo mode similar to that seen in a mobile carrier retail location on Android handsets. It would be easily toggled with a few simple keystrokes and interaction with actual toggle switches on a dedicated user interface. In effect, what that means is that nearly any employee could easily set it up before putting a device out on display.
Before any enterprise administrators get too excited, it's worth pointing out that the feature doesn't appear to even have a set user interface yet. So this isn't necessarily something that's likely to arrive within the next couple of updates. With that said, the change in demonstration methods won't necessarily be too different from a customer perspective. More likely than not, users won't even notice a difference when the feature does arrive. However, it could ultimately save various companies a substantial amount of money and time when it comes to showing off their supply of in-stock Chromebooks. Beyond that, the mode could come in handy to more than just retailers. Developers often take screenshots or images of applications running on a given device but it can be a struggle to do that without inadvertently capturing unwanted interface elements. So this mode could be useful to anybody in that situation since they could effectively lock down the device to show off their Chrome OS applications with an uncluttered, stock interface.
Unfortunately, Google has yet to make any kind of announcement about a demo mode for Chrome OS and it's entirely possible that the newly spotted code commits won't end up being implemented in Chrome OS itself. Meanwhile, as mentioned above, there's certainly no indication of a timeline for when this feature will become available. With any luck, it won't take too much longer but, as with many other features spotted in the commits, until Google officially reveals the feature or it launches, there's really no way to know for sure.