What will the connected home of the future look like?
The Internet of Things market is expected to grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020. To seize this enormous opportunity, Target asked Local Projects to design a store demonstrating how smart devices will change the world. The result was Target Open House, an unprecedented retail space in downtown San Francisco more focused on educating and engaging than selling.
The centerpiece of the store is a translucent model home built entirely from laser-cut acrylic. Transparent furniture appears in every room, accented by crown molding and detailed façades inspired by San Francisco's famous Painted Ladies. The back walls of each room are covered in a light-absorbent projection film that provides a responsive screen-like surface.
As visitors enter the house, motion detectors trigger greetings from the smart products in each room. Visitors can select vignettes telling stories of connected products working together to solve problems, like restless babies and burglaries.
Each story was generated with live code instead of video, triggering products to turn on as the story plays out. For example, when the baby is stirring, the Sonos plays a lullaby and a Hue light bulb switches to a soothing color.
The concept of a transparent model home lets visitors see the invisible “conversations” the products have with each other. At its core, the store “reveals the simple, elegant ways connected technologies can improve our lives, embedded within a domestic setting,” says Local Projects founder Jake Barton.
Concept, software design and construction of Open House were completed in under six months, and physical structures were fabricated entirely with CNC machining and 3D printing. With nearly a year in operation, the store is not a pop-up—it’s a permanent fixture in downtown San Francisco.
"A perfectly executed exhibition demystifying the “Internet of Things” for all ages."
"Connected objects are changing the way we live, but it's hard to convey exactly what this new technology is and how it fits into our lives. To communicate this, the designers built a translucent acrylic home, allowing smart products that often blend into the surroundings to stand out. As visitors move through the space, assorted sensors are triggered to help convey a typical experience in the home of the future."
Jake Barton (principal in charge); Philipp Rockel, Matt Felsen, Charles DiMaggio (creative technologists); Nima Vakili (physical designer); Nico Guillin (architect); John Ryan (UX designer); Francisco Zamorano, Paul Hoppe (art directors); Yooin Cho (graphic designer); Marijana Wotton, Kat Kim (project managers); Nathan Adkisson (senior strategist)
BMI Engineering (engineering)