IoT at Target
Target recently announced that they would have all of their stores IoT enabled at the end of 2016. Target will cut the ribbon on their in-store IoT lab, which they’re calling Target Open House.
It is obvious that they are operating with the fact that the products they sell will one day be communicating together in people’s homes and daily life.
The retailer describes their Open House as “part lab, part retail space, part meeting space for the tech community.” It was opened last month in the Metreon shopping center in San Francisco.
Their strategy is to view IoT as a massive trend arriving from the horizon, and they are preparing to reap the rewards of the massive amount of value it will generate. Open House is a testing ground to establish which aspects of IoT will provide the most value.
Set over a 3500 square foot space, the lab contains a house made from transparent acrylic, including the furniture, as well as the IoT objects. Within the rooms, observers will see vignettes designed to explain how multiple connected devices can interact with one another in the context of “everyday life.”
An example of this is the connected baby monitor, which connects to items like lamps, coffee machines and a sound system. Observers will see that automatically playing soothing music and perhaps brewing up a coffee for the parents can alleviate the crying of a baby.
The company claims that putting a house inside the space is the most accessible way to present the products. They’re doing their best to personalize and humanize the multiple benefits of their products, besides demonstrating them.
The space has been designed to demystify IoT technologies for the home, as well as inspire people to investigate the idea of living in a connected home.
Target believes that it will be as much of a learning experience for them as for their customers. They will be analyzing real-time data from the exhibition to gain insight into how attendees are interacting with their products. Besides this, they will provide space for meetings such as tech talks, demos and launches.
The company expects their entire IoT roll out to account for over 1 billion RFID tags in the first year, and they are spending approximately $1 billion on supply chain upgrades during 2015.