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'Home Smart Home': High-tech fun found at Jackson County Fair

Among the whirlwind of bright-eyed fairgoers and fast-spinning rides at the Jackson County Fair lies a small replica home.

Run by U.S. Cellular, “Home Smart Home” is an immersive experience that allows fair visitors to explore and learn about a variety of smart-home technology and products.

“We’re focusing on presenting the latest and greatest technology in a way that people can see it in action and envision it in their own homes,” said U.S. Cellular local store manager Branden Paul.

The home display shows off products including Philips Hue Light Bulbs, a Nest Learning Thermostat, a Ring Video Doorbell and an Amazon Echo.

“It’s very nifty for people to get to see a range of different items and experience how these things all begin to work together,” Paul said. “These products can really change the way you live your life.”

Visitors watched as employees explained the details and safety benefits that can come with the video-recording doorbell, and some stood in awe at the wall of light bulbs that can sync to sounds or moments and change into 16 million different colors.

Fair visitor Sherry Meaux journeyed through the tech-savvy home with her mother early Wednesday.

“It’s all amazing!” she said. “The fact I could control all of these parts of my house from my phone is just incredible.”

Meaux said the replica home added a unique element to the classic fair and made her want to look into purchasing smart-home products.

“It encouraged me to start saving to hopefully look into buying some of these things,” she said. “They can be a little spendy, but now I know it’s definitely worth it.”

While different than the classic fair activities, Paul said he hoped the smart home would be a way to “connect with the community in a fun, engaging and fast-paced place.”

“Being out here at the fair like this lets us really participate with our community and come to where they are,” Paul said. “Getting to show people these high-end products and take a break from rides and cotton candy can enhance the whole fair experience.”

The Jackson County Fair is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. today through Saturday, and until 7 p.m. Sunday, at The Expo, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point. Tickets are $12 for ages 13 to 61; $6 for ages 62-74; and free for kids 12 and younger and seniors 75 and older. Admission is free Sunday for all, and parking is free every day. Arm bands for carnival rides cost $35.

Reach Mail Tribune reporting intern Morgan Theophil at mtheophil@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4485. Follow her on Twitter @morgan_theophil.

Reach Mail Tribune reporting intern Morgan Theophil at mtheophil@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4485. Follow her on Twitter @morgan_theophil.

Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune Ethan Kinney, 5, of Central Point, hits up the slides during the Jackson County Fair on Wednesday.
Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune Branden Paul, U.S. Cellular store manager, talks about smart home features at a kiosk at the Jackson County Fair on Wednesday.