Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Shades of '2001'? Amazon shows off homes run by Alexa

A sign touting Amazon's collaboration with Lennar home builders is seen at an Amazon ‘experience center’ in Vallejo Amazon debuts Experience Centers in Lennar homes, showrooms to demo and sell smart home products
Cecil Davis | 13 May, 2018, 03:00

Amazon wants to showcase the power of its Alexa voice assistant, but its online store can only go so far. While it recently shelved those plans, it led to immediate speculation that Amazon could disrupt the power of big-pharma and distribution of drugs.

Two lawmakers are raising concerns about the latest version of Amazon's Echo smart speaker, which is designed especially for kids.

Integrated during construction, help setting up the technology for buyers is provided during a visit from an Amazon expert.

Visitors can control the thermostat, lights, television, and shades, as well as order household items, through the Dash buttons and schedule in-home contractors for tasks from repairs to cleaning.

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Ultimately, this is Amazon playing salesman for its burgeoning AI and smart home business, which includes its recent billion-dollar Ring acquisition, as it gives consumers first-hand access to life inside a super-connected abode.

"We wanted customers to experience a real home environment that showcases the convenience of the Alexa smart home experience, great entertainment available with Prime, and Home Services", said Nish Lathia, general manager, Amazon Services, in a statement announcing the tech partnership with Lennar. Created to give visitors a taste of a real smart home environment that is powered by Alexa, the model homes have been built in conjunction with Miami-based home construction and real estate company Lennar.

There's a reason Amazon chose Lennar over any other USA housebuilder, and it's not just because it's the biggest. That's in addition to the Fire TVs which will show off Prime TV content.

For Lennar, the idea will be to use the format to help it sell more of its homes, as well as the premium packages to add on the numerous extras of making them into high-end smart homes. Customers have rated Amazon experts at 4.9 out of 5 stars. The supposed "Amazon Experience Centers" are now operating in nearly 15 cities comprising Dallas, Los Angeles, and Washington, with many more to launch. The Centers will be located in Lennar model homes, which have been built to be Alexa-enabled from the ground up.