October 13, 2014
Retailers are gearing up to support a range of connected home devices for the upcoming holiday season. Best Buy’s new Connected Home department is scheduled to deploy in more than 400 stores by Thanksgiving, featuring more than 100 smart home products. Other big box retailers including Home Depot, Lowe’s and Staples have unveiled new programs and products in their stores designed for the connected home. We can also expect to see specialists and tech support trained in smart home products.
Best Buy’s Connected Home department is expected to feature “the Peq hub, Nest and Honeywell thermostats, Dropcam cameras, Hue lights and many other brands large and small,” reports Stacey Higginbotham for GigaOM. “There will be a mix of one-off devices and managed services from local ISPs or ADT, as well as more DIY-but-still-managed services such as Peq that come with a fee.”
You can visit the Best Buy Connected Home website for a preview of what is planned (see screen grab above).
Best Buy is planning to pitch routers and router upgrades as the “plumbing” of the connected home. According to a company announcement, the retailer will also train Blue Shirt connected home specialists in more than 200 stores.
“For the consumer, having smart home products in big box stores is good news,” suggests Higginbotham. “It will help drive the price of goods lower and also lets people touch and feel connected products before they shell out what can be considerably more than a non-connected product. I think trained staff will be an essential component to this strategy, as well as education about how these products can work together. Otherwise the line for returns after this holiday season will be long.”