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New Verizon Store A High Tech Toy Shop

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Thanks, I will. (Verizon photo.)

Thanks, I will. (Verizon photo.)

(credit: istock) Technology Report
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NOVI (WWJ) – Verizon Wireless has opened its third “Smart Store” in Michigan at 26401 Novi Road in Novi.

The store features nearly 1,000 tech toys and accessories, arranged into four of what the company calls “mobile lifestyle zones” — Amplify It for music on the go, Get Fit for tracking healthy habits, Have Fun for novel tech gadgets, and Home And On The Go for home automation. There’s also a Verizon At Home store for home office gear and the cell phone carrier’s relationship locally with Comcast.

The store is about 4,100 square feet, with wide-open spaces between displays, lots of places to sit down and try stuff out, and a kids’ area where they can play with radio control cars and other toys with remote control (provided by smartphone or tablet, of course). The store is also fully compliant for people with disabilities. Each section also features touch screen information displays for people who are “just looking” and don’t want to be bothered by a staffer.

In Novi, the store replaces a former store less than 3,000 square feet in size at 43025 12 Mile Road that closed Dec. 5.

By section, the highlights included:

Get Fit: The Fitbit Flex, a $99 wristband that measures steps, walking distance, sleep patterns and more, information that can be sent wirelessly to a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Amplify It: The Bose Sound Link, a tiny (eight inches by two inches by three inches) Bluetooth speaker with absolutely amazing, room filling sound. It’s $199. There’s also the UE Boom, another Bluetooth speaker for $179 with incredible sound for its size — and you can buy two for true stereo.

Home And On The Go: The Belkin WiFi camera for $129 — use it to monitor the house remotely over WiFi from your smartphone. It has night vision, too. There’s also a smartphone-controlled power outlet, the Belkin WeMo Switch, for $49, so you can remotely turn off lights or anything else you can plug in from your smartphone from anywhere, and the Nest learning thermostat, so you can remotely control your home’s temperature.

Have Fun: Tons of RC cars and flying drones, sure, but not everything is expensive — there are learning tools like a Crayola electronic crayon for $39 and a Leapfrog learning tool for tablets for just $15.

Nick Pyrros, director of retail sales for Michigan for Verizon Wireless, said the store features 900 SKUs of accessories, vs. about 200 for Verizon’s former stores.

The store will also feature four to five wireless workshops a day, in which you can participate online or in person. For more information, visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/workshops.

And sure, there are phones, tablets and other gadgets — tons of Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Apple phones, on the Android, Windows and iOS operating systems. Plenty of cool tablets and the $549 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy camera too.

The $199 Delphi Connect connected car accessory is also on sale here, so you can monitor your car’s location and condition remotely (as well as that ever popular service, remote car lock and unlock).

Verizon opened its first “smart store” in Michigan at 23975 Harper Ave. in St. Clair Shores over the summer,  its second at 751 Spring St. in Petoskey. The fourth, in Auburn Hills just outside Great Lakes Crossing, opens Dec. 20. Eventually, all 1,700 Verizon Wireless stores will be converted to the format, including the other 55 in Michigan.

The store has 23 employees.

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