Verizon Steps-Up Retail Presence With Connected, Cutting-Edge Destination Stores (Boston Video Tour)

Connected, smart devices of various types are big business these days, with virtually all the major wireless carriers getting into the retail mix, peddling tablets and notebook, as well as smartphones. It makes sense, since often times these devices need service plans for full portability and connectivity on the go. But does it make sense for the major carriers to expand the offering to a broader swath of the IOT (Internet of Things)?

Verizon Wireless, seems to think so and the company is opening a number of flagship "Destination Stores" across major US markets in an effort to showcase cutting-edge connected technologies and educate consumers. We were invited in to check out Verizon's Boston Destination Store on Boylston Street in good ol' Beantown and were pleasantly surprised at what was being showcased for hands-on test drives, fun and games.

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From connected home devices, like Nest thermostats and the Kevo Smart Door Lock, to fitness trackers, a digital music mixing station and an interactive product comparison wall, the whole place is designed for hands-on experience of these new devices and their full range of functionality. This is not something you're always able to do, depending on device type, even at traditional electronics retailers.

And of course, if you watch closely during our quick video tour here, you might even get a glimpse of the new Samsung Galaxy S6 as well...

At first glance, you might pass Verizon's new Destination Store concept off as just another glitzy retail shop trying to duplicate the success of predecessors like Apple. However, what's interesting about these new Verizon locations is that they're setup to educate the consumer and allow full demonstration of all sorts of technologies from a multitude of brands, as well a move a few unit sales and sign a few service contracts in the process, of course.

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Verizon even had a custom printed phone case area where you could bring in a favorite picture of your choice, and have it printed in high resolution and full color on a smartphone case of your choice, and then baked in a machine in the store's backroom for better durability.

We tried our hand at the digital music DJ mixing station and the "Focal Wall" for some Football shoot-out competition but it's safe to say that Tom Brady's job is secure and we won't be headlining and major dance clubs any time soon. It was still fun to mess around with all the tech in an environment that was setup to just let you play with all the latest tech toys.