Open House Connects Target Visitors To The Internet Of Things

Target has developed a showcase store concept to present its take on the connected home and the Internet of Things. The retailer’s website includes a discussion about how the company will approach sales of connected everyday items from thermostats and door locks to the Internet in the name of personalization, convenience and efficiency.

Dubbed Target Open House, the 3,500 square foot San Francisco-located store concept is part retail space, part lab, part meeting venue for the connected home tech community, the retailer said.

The store features a transparent home environment complete with acrylic furniture and detailing. Visitors can experience vignettes that demonstrate in particular ways how multiple connected devices can work together to create real-life solutions, Target said.

Instead of simply showing how a smart baby monitor functions, for example, the Open House connects it to other, sometimes surprising, products such as a lamp, coffee maker and speakers. In this way, Open House visitors can see how a baby’s stirring sets soothing music playing on the sound system and coffee brewing in the kitchen.

Although the space is designed to demystify the Internet of Things and inspire guests to explore connected home living, Target also plans to learn from Open House, it said. The retailer will get real-time feedback from consumers interacting with the products. Plus, the space will help make connections for Target and others by regularly hosting gatherings from tech talks and meet-ups to product demos and product launches.

“Putting a house in the space, we felt, was the most relatable and welcoming way to introduce these products,” said Todd Waterbury, Target’s chief creative officer. “What we’re trying to do is humanize and personalize the benefits of these products, as well as show them working in concert. It’s really about relevant storytelling and creating a destination for engagement and discovery.”

Casey Carl, Target’s chief strategy and innovation officer, and an Enterprise Growth Initiatives team created Target Open House, the retailer noted.

“We’re using Open House to test the trend, both for us and for guests,” he said. “From a strategic perspective, we see Internet of Things as a megatrend on the horizon. We know it’s going to generate huge value.”