Friday, May 11, 2018

Amazon is Showing What it's Like to Have a Home Completely Controlled by Alexa: Lights, Locks, Libido (AMZN; GOOG)

Just kidding about the 'Libido'. That's Facebook.

From CNBC:
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....
That last link goes to an earlier CNBC story: "Why Amazon is obsessed with getting inside our homes".
Here with a competing view is Google via Fast Company, May 3:

Watch out, Alexa! Google is catching up to Amazon in the smart home wars
Smart home device makers have become much more supportive of Google Assistant and the Google Home speaker over the past few months. Google now says its voice assistant can control over 5,000 smart home devices–up from 1,500 devices in January–and the company claims to be working with “every major device brand” in the United States, covering a wide range of categories from security systems to dishwashers to robotic vacuums.
While it’s unclear exactly what caused the surge in device support for Google, the company released a much cheaper version of its Home speaker last fall and has gained ground on Amazon in market share. Google has also aggressively promoted Assistant at industry trade shows such as CES and SXSW in hopes of getting device makers and developers on board....MORE