As more people are buying Alexa products, Amazon is now working with real estate developers to create "smart homes" with built-in Alexa capabilities.
Amazon Introduces 'Smart Homes' Powered By Alexa
On May 9, Amazon announced that it is teaming up with Lennar Ventures, the nation's largest home builder, to build new homes with Alexa gadgets already installed. Nearly 35,000 homes built by Lennar in 2018 could automatically have the technology.
Each home will include built-in WiFi, digital thermostats, smart locks, a Roomba, doorbells, lights, an Echo Show, and an Echo Dot. All of the gadgets will be connected to Alexa. An Amazon technician will assist new homeowners in setting everything up during a free visit.
Amazon and Lennar are also allowing users to test out one of 15 model smart homes throughout the country. Called Amazon Experience Centers, the houses will demonstrate how all of the technology works in the home.
"We want them to be able to walk into one of these model homes and see how it all works in a real house, so they can see how much it would simplify their lives," said Nish Lathia, general manager for Amazon Services. "It's super addictive."
Will 'Smart Homes' Change The Real Estate Industry?
Lennar, which started to release the built-in technology in 2017, is sticking to this new format to sell more homes. The company hopes that the new technology would transform the houses into high-end smart homes.
"Amazon's ability to bring a home to life with Alexa smart home experiences, entertainment, and services — coupled with their obsession with customer experience — is a natural extension of our 'everything's included' approach to homebuilding," said David Kaiserman, president of Lennar Ventures.
For real estate developers, there is still some apprehension surrounding the need for such a deal. Currently, there may not be a large demand for these types of homes. However, some builders, such as Lennar, see it is as a necessary investment for the future.
Are Other Tech Companies Also Getting On The 'Smart Home' Bandwagon?
As of 2018, Amazon controls nearly 66 percent of the smart speaker market, and Google is in a distant second place with 30 percent.
Although smart speakers are growing in popularity, there isn't a strong demand for smart homes yet. Some tech companies are anticipating a demand in the future by getting started now.
Apple has already joined forces with home builders to create future houses with Apple's smart technology already installed. Best Buy also senses the opportunity, and it has already expanded its In-Home advisor program across the United States.