Lennar, the nation’s largest homebuilder, announced a deal with Amazon that will make voice-activated digital assistants a standard feature in its new homes, as well as other smart devices. The new homes will include built-in Wi-Fi, smart locks, doorbells, thermostats, and lights that can be controlled by Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant, Alexa.
“This will be the hallmark of why we buy a new home,” says David Kaiserman, president of Lennar Ventures. “It’s an important step in the mass adoption of all these technologies.”
Every new home from Lennar will come with two Alexa-enabled smart speakers, an Echo Show and an Echo Dot. The builder will also give home buyers a complimentary visit from an Amazon technician to teach them how to operate everything.
Lennar and Amazon announced Wednesday that they will be opening eight model homes across the country to showcase the technology.
“We want 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,” says Nish Lathia, general manager for Amazon Services. “It’s super addictive.”
Voice assistants have been growing in popularity. About 18 percent of Americans this year use a smart speaker at least once a month, according to eMarketer, a digital marketing firm. Amazon holds the majority of the market share, but Google and Apple hope to change that.