July 13, 2015
Target recently joined forces with Local Projects, the New York design studio that worked on the interactive installations of the 9/11 Museum, to build a new retail space and test lab in San Francisco that leverages interactive storytelling to help illustrate how smart products work. Open House is arranged as a 3,500-square-foot model home filled with the latest Internet-connected gadgets, from Drop’s smart thermometers and scales in the kitchen to Withings’ wireless blood pressure monitors and Sonos speakers in the bedroom.
Target’s smart home is built to showcase the connections between all the products within, demonstrated through projections shooting from one gadget to another and two multi-touch tables that explain how each product works and how they interact with each other. Products feature sensors that detect movement and deliver conversation bubbles on the walls.
The showcase requires more room than normal store aisles can typically accommodate, but is essential to explaining how well the new products work together and why consumers should be interested in purchasing them.
Many consumers are confused regarding the features and benefits of a Nest Protect smoke detector with Wi-Fi capability or a Philips Hue smart bulb that can be controlled by their iPhone. “With the Internet of Things market projected to reach $1.7 trillion in 2020, an educational approach to selling the devices will be key to retailers,” reports Wired.
Target’s eventual goal is to apply what it has created with Open House to its 1,500-plus stores, and get a headstart on the future of retail.