Amazon Partners With Builders to Put Alexa in New Homes

October 1, 2018

Amazon is partnering with homebuilders to bring its Alexa voice assistant to more new housing units as a standard smart-home feature. The online retailer recently announced it has partnered with Plant Prefab, a California-based company that uses sustainable materials to build prefabricated single-family and multifamily homes. The move comes after Amazon introduced more than a dozen Alexa-controlled smart-home devices, including a microwave oven and doorbell.

“Voice has emerged as a delightful technology in the home, and there are now more than 20,000 Alexa-compatible smart-home devices from 3,500 different brands,” Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to support [Plant Prefab] as they make sustainable, connected homes more accessible to customers and developers.” Amazon also has partnered with Lennar, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, to preinstall Alexa in all of the builder’s new homes.

Plant Prefab is trying to use automation to speed up construction projects and lower costs. The company says its prefab method cuts construction time in half and costs up to 10 percent to 25 percent less than a traditional home. “In the housing-crunched major cities like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco—along with areas like Silicon Valley—it takes too much time to build a home from groundbreaking to occupancy. And labor shortages, construction delays, and increased construction costs are exacerbating this trend even further, making homes increasingly less affordable,” says Plant Prefab CEO Steve Glenn.

Meanwhile, the smart-home market is seeing explosive growth in new technology products. It’s expected to grow to a $53 billion industry by 2022, according to Zion Market Research.