The Smart Home of the Future

Target

A store for the Internet of Things and a new paradigm for the future of retail.

Overview

You may have heard of the Internet of Things, and may even know that it has a potential market value estimated in the billions. But what exactly is it? We collaborated with Target to introduce customers to products from the Internet of Things, and the connected home of the future they’ll soon occupy with Target Open House.

Services

Creative Direction, Architectural Coordination, Physical Design, Software Prototyping and Planning, Production

Partners

BBI, Associated Fabrication, Gizmo Art Production, Technical Artistry, Underground Audio

“It’s as though Philip Johnson’s Glass House and the Jetsons’ futuristic pad had a lovechild.”

WIRED

The Details

The Internet of Things refers to the increasing number of everyday objects equipped with both computing power and Wi-Fi capabilities. These connected devices make it possible to use data to rapidly change our daily routines for the better, especially in our homes.

Our team realized that the average Target customer needed an engaging experience to learn about the Internet of Things and the complex but exciting benefits it offers. We had to solve the Internet of Things’ storytelling problem, before Target could distribute products nationally.

A retail laboratory

Our solution was to put connected products in a living environment. We created a four-room transparent acrylic house, complete with a living room, bedroom, and nursery, filled with smart devices working together.

Using infrared motion detectors, each product greets visitors as they pass, and shares product features. In addition, each room contains vignettes that show how products can work together in situations ranging from burglary to child-rearing.

A successful experiment

Open House debuted to immediate fanfare and became a must-stop for shoppers visiting downtown San Francisco. More importantly, Target now has a funnel for going to market with Internet of Things products based on data from real shoppers. Target leapt over the competition by forging exclusive relationships with scores of startup founders and hosting dozens of events engaging the public in essential conversations about security, reliability and the influence of connected devices.

Target relocated a suite of veterans from its headquarters in Minneapolis to maximize these opportunities. Thanks to Open House, Target has a competitive advantage in the largest market opportunity in a generation.

“A big entrepreneurial bet... to re-energize the retailer’s brand and create a new billion-dollar business outside of its comfort zone.”
Re/Code