Despite all the hype and noise about the myriad wonders of the IoT, selling connected locks, thermometers, scales, and other gadgets to the mainstream consumer still remains a huge challenge. How do you show people how all these miracles of modern technology will work together to create a wondrous smart lifestyle every room will be at the perfect temperature, the washing machine will only run when electricity is at its lowest rate, and the dog hasn’t escaped because you forgot to close the door in your rush to get to work?
Target is making a brave attempt to join the dots together with its new Open House in San Francisco. Labeled as part retail space and part living lab, the store showcases a variety of smart home products from over twenty different vendors such as GE, Google Nest, and Sonos in a space that’s been designed to represent a 3,500 square-foot home.
While the layout of the space is a bit too, shall we say, aspirational for my own tastes, it certainly does give you a pretty good idea of how things will work once you’ve dropped a couple of grand on all your gadgets. The interactive product demos are attractive and clear, and the sales people are friendly and knowledgeable.
Target should be applauded for taking this step in building consumer awareness of the connected home. Open House is a very interesting experiment. If you’re ever in San Francisco, it’s definitely well worth a visit. You can find out more about it here.