Department store John Lewis has opened an interactive 827 sq ft Google Assistant-powered smart home at its flagship shop in Oxford Street, with 4 more planned in the lead up to Christmas.
The test space has been designed to recreate a living room, kitchen and bedroom, so shoppers can test smart home products in situ as they learn about voice-activated technology.
Visitors to the Oxford Street store can learn how Google smart products can be used to set reminders and timers, find recipes, and control connected products around the home.
The UK smart home market was worth £900m in 2017 according to market research company GfK, and smart devices remain a Christmas gift favourite for 2018. A sizeable 85% of the UK’s online population is thought to own at least one smart product.
The John Lewis smart home will feature Google smart technology including the Home Hub, Home Mini, and Home Max, as well as the Google Chromecast Ultra. Also being showcased is a range of tech from other brands that is designed to work with a Google Home setup, including the Nest Hello doorbell, Philips Hue smart lightbulbs, and the LightWave smart sockets.
Partner and Smart Home Buyer at John Lewis, Katrina Mills said: “Sales of smart home products double every year but the rapid development in this technology has meant that they do a lot more than many of us realise. This ‘smart home’ gives people the chance to have fun testing the products and decide if they would benefit from them.
“Whether that’s checking who’s at the door via the Nest Hello Doorbell, turning the lights on and off using Google Home Mini, adjusting the room temperature with Nest Thermostat or changing the channel on your TV with a simple command via your Google Chromecast Ultra.
“We’re excited to be featuring the brand new Google Home Hub in the space. Customers will be able to see how it enables them to set up routines with a short command such as “Ok Google, goodnight” you can set an alarm, turn off the lights and acclimatise your bedroom to your ideal sleeping temperature.”
The adoption of virtual digital assistants in property has been steadily building this year, with advances in Machine Learning improving the accuracy of products like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Google Assistant-powered smart home areas will be installed in a further 4 John Lewis shops in Leeds, Oxford, Edinburgh and Southampton over the coming weeks.