John Lewis Newcastle

John Lewis has opened a department dedicated entirely to the Internet of Things (IoT) at its flagship Oxford Street store in London.

After seeing an 81% rise in sales of smart home devices and products in the past year, John Lewis’ IT director, Paul Coby said the 1,000 sq ft department would “demystify the concept of the smart home”.

The department features a range of home products focused on the kitchen, entertainment, sleeping and monitoring.

Mr Coby said: “We know there is a lot of noise around the IoT. Techies talk about connected things and devices, while other people talk about the smart home, and what we want to do is inform customers of what smart technology can provide.

“What we’re going to do in Oxford Street is bring to life how these devices work.”

The Samsung Family Hub smart fridge will be sold at John Lewis IoT department
The Samsung Family Hub smart fridge will be sold at John Lewis IoT department

Speaking to business tech site, Internet of Business, Philipp Schuster, MD of smart home specialists Loxone, said: “Many smart home devices already use the IoT in principle by connecting to the cloud to store and exchange data over the internet. However the ‘Internet of Things’ can mean many different standards and ways of communicating. So smart gadgets by different vendors do not connect and exchange data effectively with each other. As a result, consumer adoption is hindered because the advantages that these services can deliver are limited.”

He added: “Consisting of a multitude of devices with different purposes, the Internet of Things can become a maze that most consumers struggle to navigate. Education about the tangible benefits is key for the wider adoption of smart devices and, with its new department dedicated to IoT, John Lewis will be ideally placed to help with this process.”

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