- Amazon’s latest incursion into home building came this week with the announcement of a partnership with TRI Pointe Group to offer homebuyers smart homes with Amazon’s Alexa voice technology, according to a press release from the home builder.
- All six of TRI Pointe’s homebuilder brands will offer the HomeSmart suite of technology and automation features that are activated and supported by Amazon. HomeSmart is now in over 25 model homes in eight states, the press release said.
- Some of the technology provided in packages include: Amazon’s Echo line of smart speakers and Fire TV Cube; an appointment for home activation with Amazon personnel; Eero Home WiFi System; Leviton or Lutron Smart Switches; smart thermostats from Honeywell or Ecobee and Ring Video Doorbell Pro, among other offerings. Some products are only available in select markets.
Amazon’s partnership with TRI Pointe Group is the online retailer’s latest effort to ensure that its smart home products are installed in new houses and demonstrated in model homes across the country. It also has the potential to be an effective presentation of a home implementation of the Internet of Things, which has been slow to draw attention. Once owners of existing homes see the technology in use, they may become more likely to make their own investments in the systems.
Additionally, it will ensure that owners of these new homes will have ready access to Amazon’s robust merchandising systems and can easily order new or replenishing products using Alexa. But voice ordering has been another slow-to-develop use of technology.
This is the third such arrangement Amazon has made with home builders. In February, Lennar, one of the U.S.’s largest home construction companies, said it had broken ground on a 385-home complex in Florida where the residences will have Amazon's Alexa voice-activated virtual assistant built-in to control energy, security and lighting functions throughout the home. Around that time, Lennar debuted a WiFi-enabled smart home near Austin, Texas, which uses Alexa to control smart home functions.
In September Plant Prefab, a startup focused on building pre-fabricated single-family and multi-family homes, confirmed that Amazon's Alexa Fund had invested in the company. With the financing, Alexa is set to be integrated into Plant Prefab's homes.
Pardee Homes, another Tri Pointe company, has included the Echo voice-control system with Alexa into its Arista model homes in the Aliento master-planned community in Santa Clarita, California. "The Internet of Things is changing the way we live our lives,” Linda Mamet, Tri Pointe’s VP of corporate marketing, told GlobeSt.com. "Research suggests that within five years, the average home could contain 500 smart devices. These devices extend far beyond phones and TVs to include things like appliances, thermostats, monitoring and security systems.”