There was a time your cellphone was just a phone. And then it became a substitute for your camera. And now it’s a hub capable of connecting with devices to cook your supper and secure your home.

That’s why the brand new Telus “Connected Experience store” in the Avalon Mall is only 20% smart phones – the rest of their stock is stuff your phone can connect with to make your life better, easier, safer, healthier, and more convenient.

Telus Connected Experience Stores are specifically designed with our digital lifestyles in mind, and the Avalon Mall has been cherry picked to house one of three such stores in Canada. The other two are in Edmonton and Toronto. St. John’s made the cut because the previous store was one of Telus’s top 3 performing stores in Eastern Canada (which speaks to their staff, and also NL’s affinity for new technology).

This one differs from the previous store because it’s less about phones, and more about the things we can control with them – the store is neatly organized into sections, each of which allow you to interact with and sample and compare devices.

In that sense, the store provides the kind of tactile, visual, and auditory interactions with products of interest that online shopping cannot provide. It’s an old school approach to finding new school products.

Store Organized by Tech Type

The store has created a unique and curated mix of products, that will constantly change and evolve, to give Generation Technology a suite of options to sample and choose from. If you’re not tech savvy enough to know how to use all this technology, like how your friend casts Netflix from their phone to their flatscreen, well, that’s what the trained staff are there for: there’s even seating for training sessions with staff.

If you think all this tech is making us lazy, think again: there’s a barrage of tech wearables to keep us fit-conscious. Their tech fitness section goes as far as offering watches and pendants you wouldn’t know were fitness-functional, to monitor everything from blood pressure to daily step counts. In-house Health Tech Trainers can help set you up for success in dropping a few pounds or winning your next half marathon.

Their audio section lets you compare a pile of Bluetooth speakers, across various music genres, and test out headphones for the cost-conscious to the audiophile.

There is also some amazing home audio systems that prevent the need for pesky, expensive in-wall wiring – this stuff is wireless. Party guests in the kitchen could be hearing the same thing as those in the living room or bathroom upstairs, all with the click of a button on your phone.

The accessories section goes so far as to partner with designers – this month there’s a display of Kate Spade cases. It’s right next to a free powering station should your battery be getting low as you browse.

There’s even a cookware section with sous vide machines, or scales that house a library of recipes. It’s beside the toy section – toys for kids and adults alike (phone-controlled robots, cars, droids).

The home security and smart-tech section is a big one. If you’ve ever gone out and worried you forgot to lock the door, or wished you could turn on the heat to your cabin before you got there, well, you can do both and then some using your phone. (In fact, no joke, there are farmers in Newfoundland milking their cows with phone-controlled robotic cow milkers!)

“We’ve got you covered with everything you need to make your house as smart as can be, including the full suite of NEST products.” These include smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that talk to you in a human voice, instead of grating your nerves with that ear-piercing, panic-inducing balre that makes you take the damn battery out to shut it up.

And if you’re rightfully wondering if the place a mad house of blaring speakers and amped-up joggers-on-the-spot checking out gear? No, actually. There are baffles in place to reduce the ambient sound. You’ll note the mall’s background noise cut out as you walk into the store.

Atlantic Canadians Biggest Consumers of Smart Phone Technology

A lot of people are fine without all this gadgetery – who wants a front door some hacker can unlock? What’s so wrong with a good old fashioned key no one has but you? But those hesitations are fading. 63% of Canadians “predict that they will own at least one smart home device in just two years.”

As for why St. John’s got one of the country’s first 3 “TELUS Connected Experience stores,” it’s because Atlantic Canada is ahead of the tech curve. Nationally, 34% of people have adopted at least one smart device in their home, whereas that number is 44% in Atlantic Canada. The most popular smart home devices in Newfoundland are smart TVs and smart thermostats.

Atlantic Canadians are more connected in general, with 52% of us owning multiple connected devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, wearables, etc.) compared to 45% nationally. So of course they opened a store here, it’s smart business: this is where the demand is the strongest.