Home Builder Makes Voice Automation Standard

Lennar, one of the nation’s largest home builders, has announced that voice-controlled home automation is now one of several standard tech features included in its “Wi-Fi Certified” new homes.

Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant Alexa will control smart locks, doorbells, thermostats, lights, and other smart devices connected to the home’s Wi-Fi network through Samsung’s SmartThings home automation platform.

Each house comes with two Alexa-enabled smart speakers, an Echo Show and Echo Dot, and new homeowners get free in-person coaching from an Amazon technician on how to set up and use the devices.

Lennar is the first home builder to embrace the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi Certified Home Design program that enables builders to integrate professionally designed and installed Wi-Fi networks into new homes. Rather than retrofitting a wireless network into the home after it’s built, network components are specified in builder floorplans from the start to ensure comprehensive Wi-Fi coverage based on factors such as home size, number of levels, and wall composition.

Professionally designed Wi-Fi networks are “move-in ready” and optimized to ensure homeowners can easily and reliably control smart home devices without having to worry about dead spots. The networks are also designed with an eye toward supporting future smart home devices and systems.

The smart systems Lennar is building into its homes are compatible with iOS and Android devices and support smart-home products from Ring, Honeywell, Baldwin, Kwikset, Lutron, Ruckus, Sonos, and other manufacturers.

“We live in a connected world, but most existing homes simply weren’t built for that world — leading to frustrating dead spots,” said David Kaiserman, president of Lennar Ventures. “By engineering state-of-the-art Wi-Fi right into the design and construction of every new Lennar home the way we do plumbing and ventilation — and then bringing it to life with Amazon Alexa — families will be able to enjoy a connected lifestyle to the fullest.”

Amazon recently announced the opening of interactive Amazon Experience Centers within Lennar model homes across the country to provide a real-world environment where prospective home buyers can experience smart-home technology first hand. In these homes, visitors can ask Alexa to control the television, lights, thermostat, shades, etc. and see how it’s possible to reorder household essentials by simply pressing an Amazon Dash Button

Amazon Experience Centers are now open in Lennar homes in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. with more on the way. For more information on the Experience Centers and to find a demo home near you, visit amazon.com/experience.