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Best Buy Builds Connected Home Demo In Mall Of America

For the next three weeks Best Buy is calling Minnesota’s Mall of America home, or rather Tech Home.

That’s the name given the multi-room, connected-home pop-up demo now holding court in the world’s largest shopping mall.

Featuring live vignettes and specially-trained staff, the house touts the latest CE technology and stands in sharp contrast to the turntables and tube amps sold by Best Buy forerunner Sound of Music when it opened its doors in nearby St. Paul half a century ago.

Mock rooms include a kitchen, living room, bedroom, home office and an entryway, which serve as showcases for such connected concepts as:

 * Netgear’s Orbi whole-home Wi-Fi system and Arlo HD security camera

* Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator and SmartThings home automation platform

* The ecobee 3 smart thermostat

* Philips Hue lighting products

* The Savant Remote + Host package

* Ring doorbells

* Yale smart locks

* Canon’s Connected Station 1TB portable hard drive

Best Buy formalized its home-automation offering two years ago with the rollout of Connected Home sections to 400 stores.

But the Mall of America’s Tech Home more closely resembles Sears’ Connected Solutions store, a 4,000-square-foot home-automation showcase that opened just over a year ago at the company’s San Bruno, Calif., store.

Tech Home will remain in the mall’s rotunda through Sept. 17.