Builder Lennar Homes said this week that all of its new homes will have Amazon Alexa-controlled built-in WiFi, smart home devices such as door hardware, thermostats, and lights. Lennar is the first builder to take such a step.
David Kaiserman, president of Lennar Ventures, says, "This will be the hallmark of why we buy a new home. It’s an important step in the mass adoption of all these technologies.” Each home will have two smart speakers, the Echo Show and Echo Dot, and new homeowners will be shown how to operate the devices free of charge by an Amazon technician. USA Today reports that Lennar's roughly 35,000 new homes in 23 states will be smart homes in 2018. Homebuyers are unable to opt out of having Alexa in their homes, but can opt not to turn on the technology.
The Lennar show homes also offer Amazon another way to give consumers real-world exposure to its digital devices. That’s hard to do from a page on the company’s site but easy in a model home, a Whole Foods or an Amazon Books store. Visitors to the Amazon smart homepage who live near one of the eight Lennar experience centers will get ads telling them where they can go to see the systems in action. Lennar plans to add that feature to all its model homes over time.