Wed, 9 May 2018
Amazon wants to show you how much you can rely on its Alexa voice assistant to control everything in your home, from thermostats to TVs.
The company announced Wednesday it’s partnering with homebuilder Lennar to create “Amazon Experience Centers” — model homes containing built-in Alexa-controlled appliances — in hopes of persuading homeowners and homebuyers to embed Amazon services into their houses.
Lennar is outfitting model homes with TVs connected to Amazon’s Fire TV system, buttons that can reorder goods from Amazon, and Alexa-enabled products that allow customers to control the lights, TV, shades and other appliances with their voices. Customers can tour the homes in cities around the U.S. to get an idea of how they work.
Apple has taken a similar approach. It has already teamed with homebuilders to create model new homes with HomeKit-ready products that can be controlled from an iPhone or iPad with Apple’s Siri assistant. Brookfield Residential is one such homebuilder.
For Amazon, it’s another example of how badly it wants to be in your home. Doing so lets it collect valuable data on how you purchase goods.
Apple, Amazon and Google are all racing to get smart assistants into your homes. Most households probably only have room for one of those — so getting customers into the ecosystem when they’re buying a home might keep them for the long haul.