Google partners with tech retailer b8ta to let people demo smart home products

Try before you buy is the new name of the game. With items costing upwards of $100, people want to know what they’re getting themselves into before they commit to a costly gizmo — at least that’s what Google is betting on right now. Aligned with Google’s Made by Google event, the company is partnering with startup b8ta to create an interactive experience around its products.

These experiences are live at seven of b8ta’s flagship locations, which enable people to try out new tech products. Each demo experience is modeled after the different rooms of a home — living room, kitchen, home office and so on.

“We’re excited that Made by Google products are now available in the majority of b8ta locations across the country,” Google Director of Retail Marketing Janell Fischer said in a statement. “We’re always looking to make it easier for customers to try and shop our products, and this is a great example of that coming to life.”

It’s been a big year for b8ta. In April, the startup unveiled a Shopify-like solution for retailers called Built by b8ta, with Netgear as one of its first customers. Then, in June, Macy’s partnered with b8ta to enhance its experiential-based retail concept and went on to lead the startup’s $19 million Series B round.