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EXCLUSIVE:Harvey Norman To Invest Heavily In ‘SmartHouse’ Store Within A Store

Harvey Norman are set to invest heavily in trying to grab a share of the connected home market with the big retailer setting up a house within a store concept, that will see the computer and electrical divisions working together to deliver education for consumers spanning a multitude of Connected Home brands.

The project is headed by Harvey Norman Director John Slacksmith, with the big retailers is set to allocate large areas in select stores to market their new Connected Home offering with Connected Home instore Guru’s set to be trained up to educate other staff on the retailers’ products.

Harvey Norman Director & COO John Slack Smith.

ChannelNews has been told by Harvey Norman insiders that the retailer is also working closely with Google who are set to invest millions in the marketing of voice activated connected home offerings.

Like they did last year with the Google Mini, Google is this year set to work with Harvey Norman to give away connected light bulbs.
Currently Google is facing a battle with Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Home Kit to be the operating system of choice for connected homes in Australia.

The fast acceleration of a new generation of connected home offerings is set to see several retailers go head to head with a massive range of products being offered to retailers.

Among those retailers will be Bunnings, Officeworks, K Mart, Target and Catch of The Day the online retailer that was recently acquired by Wesfarmers owners of Officeworks, Bunnings, Target and K Mart.

Both The Good Guys and JB Hi Fi are still working out how to merchandise a new generation of Connected Home devices which are going to need experienced instore staff to sell.

Several distributors are set to launch a new generation of Connected Home products that work, with both Amazon and Google voice, they include Laser Corporation, Tempo, Cygnett as well as several smaller distributors who are looking to work with Bunnings and Officeworks.

ChannelNews understands that several suppliers have been put under None Disclosure Agreement Contracts as the battle between retailers over the roll out of Connected Home products has become intense.

In addition, Samsung and LG are set to start marketing their Connected home offering with LG recently funding a catalogue with JB Hi Fi to explain their offering.

Last year Samsung Electronics launched its smart home kit ‘SmartThings’ Australia-wide, citing “high national demand” after preliminary release to Victorian residents in December.

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The SmartThings kit – made in collaboration with RACV – turns a house into a smart home by wirelessly connecting multiple compatible third-party devices e.g. security lights, smart fridges, TVs, soundbars and speakers, smart lights, locks plus more.

LG ThinQ is a Connected Home brand that was launched by LG Electronics in 2017 the range consists of products that are equipped with artificial intelligence technology. The brand was originally launched for home appliances and consumer electronics, such as refrigerators and air conditioners.

In February 2018, LG announced the LG V30S ThinQ which is the first phone to have the “ThinQ” branding.

LG ThinQ products uses voice control to interact with users and sensor data and different features such as product recognition & learning engine technologies to enhance its performance across multiple devices.

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