Rex Curry | Reuters
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, speaks at the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Forum on Leadership in Dallas, Texas, April 20, 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 this morning that it’s partnering with home-builder Lennar to create model homes — so-called “Amazon Experience Centers” — with Alexa-controlled appliances built-in, with the hopes that the demos convince home owners and home buyers to embed Amazon services into their houses.
Lennar is outfitting model homes with TV’s connected to Amazon’s Fire TV system, buttons that can re-order goods right 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 up with homebuilders to 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 homebuilder that partnered with Apple to build new connected homes with Apple HomeKit technology.
It’s also another example of how badly Amazon 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 right when they’re buying a home might keep them for the long haul.