b8ta: shop the Internet of Things in a brick-and-mortar storeArticle published on 01/12/2016 - New technologies - New Products
When a guy working at Nest shops for Christmas presents but can't find a way to test the gadgets he found on the Internet, he opens a store. It's as simple as that.
This is how Vibhu Norby tells the story of b8ta: "I founded b8ta with a simple goal in mind: create a physical space where people can try the best new technology products out of the box. No packaging-just products." This idea came to his mind while shopping for Christmas, a year ago. He was 'bored' by anything he could find at retailers, especially since most of the products were packaged, and he was frustrated because it was impossible to try the ones he found on the Internet.
At the time, Norby was working at Nest, the connected thermostat company which also understood that enabling the customer to 'feel' the product for real was important, especially when it's high tech devices that may require a little explanation. So he shared his thoughts about this issue with work mates Phillip Raub, Nicholas Mann, and William Mintun, and together they founded b8ta, "Retail Designed for Discovery" as they describe it, a showroom dedicated to Hardware and IoT (Internet of Things).
"We envisioned a retailer that worked differently. We envisioned a physical space where every product is a hero with a hands-on display. We envisioned a physical space where new products were available the same day as online" says Vibhu Norby. Located at 516 Bryant Street, Palo Alto, b8ta has officially opened its 1,400-square-foot space on December 11. In addition, b8ta offers the devices designers a software that enables them to follow, in real time, not only the sales of their product but also the visitors reaction and interest.