Best Buy's Expands Its Internet of Things Display Area to Showcase Smart Homes based on Alexa and Google Assistant
Best Buy's Internet of Things (IoT) section has expanded greatly given the popularity of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
At the Best Buy in Carmel Mountain Ranch, San Diego, California, Amazon Alexa had premium display space that was very visible right when you enter the store.
In addition to Amazon's Echo, Echo Dot, Tap, Amazon was really pushing their new communication functions between Alexa speaker enabled devices as another killer App. The Amazon Echo Show now adds a screen to enable video calls with another Amazon Echo Show as well as being able to watch video and act as a secondary control display for your Alexa based Smart Home.
Right next to Amazon Alexa, Google also secured a rather large display area with the Google Home as the main center piece for their Google Assistant initiative.
Google also promoted its Google Wifi system which for some reason doesn't support Thread networking used by Nest products, which are also more prominently displayed in another display section at Best Buy.
Compared to Amazon Alexa, there were less devices displayed that showed compatibility with Google Assistant. Belkin's Wemo Mini Smartplug did show up in the Google Assistant camp although it is also compatible with Amazon Alexa.
Other smart plugs like Best Buy's own Insignia Wi-Fi Smart Plug also supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa although it was harder to distinguish this on the packaging. The iHome ISP6X Wi-Fi Smart Plug was the only one sold that had packaging labels for many smart home platforms, including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. While HomeKit is more visible at Apple stores, the iHome ISP6X Wi-Fi Smart Plug was the only smart home device found at Best Buy that had Apple HomeKit support on its packaging.
Apart from smart homes, near the check-out area Best Buy also displayed Internet of Things devices in the form of Bluetooth based tracking devices from TrackR and Tile.
Tile certainly had an early lead in the market, gaining a lot of popularity with products like the Tile Mate and Tile Slim, although Tile has made its products fancier and more specialized with the Tile Sport and Tile Style.
TrackR has been growing in popularity and differentiates from Tile primarily due to its replaceable battery, round shape, and colorful options.
The TrackR pixel provides LED lights and bright colors making it easy to find while the TrackR bravo has a more metallic conservative look.
While the Internet of Things had been majorly hyped over the past several years, its great to see so many IoT products now easily purchased at Best Buy.