You know why we love Target? They've managed to keep with the times. The old Tarjay of the 90s became a hotbed for accessible designer collaborations in the aughts. And now, the company that brought us cheap Rodarte sweaters is taking aim at San Francisco's tech space.
Step inside Target Open House, inside the Metreon, to experience the home of the future. Never mind that its 3,500 square feet—complete with a living room, bedroom, stairs, and lots of furniture all made of wired and glowing acrylic—resembles few SF apartments we've seen lately. Open House is designed to showcase a variety of smart home devices that we can afford (and that require significantly less square footage).
Equal parts retail space, lab, and meeting zone, all dedicated to the concept of the connected home, Open House began welcoming major players into the space—perhaps you've heard of Nest, August, Sonos and Jawbone—to share daily product demos as of July 10. The whole idea is to demonstrate how the Internet of Things can work to create real-life, in-home solutions.
What does that mean, exactly? Target's official example is this: Imagine that your baby monitor is connected to a wireless speaker in the baby's room, which is also connected to the lamp in your bedroom and the cappuccino machine in the kitchen. Morning comes and the baby stirs, signaling soothing morning tunes from the speakers as the lights and the coffee turn on. (What could possibly go wrong?)
“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, in an official statement. “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.”
Target hopes to bring all types of people into its open house, including artists, athletes, families, and singles as well as techies. The goal: to learn from each other's interactions with these devices rather than simply selling product. (Though, we gather they'd like to sell stuff, too.) Go check it out and tell us what you think!