Web shopping giant Amazon.com Inc. is teaming up with home builder Lennar to create “experience showrooms” showcasing the latest developments in smart home technology.
Stuart Miller, executive chairman of Lennar, told CNBC that companies including Amazon and also Google and Apple are beginning to think of the home as a “centerpiece” of the way they think about the future of how their products will work, and how users will interact with them.
“Home automation is a point of attraction,” Miller said. “It’s a proxy for a lot of other things.”
These days, all of Lennar’s newly built homes are “Wi-Fi certified”, which means that internet capabilities are built into their walls and floors. That makes it a good fit for Amazon, which owns several smart home companies including Ring. It and its subsidiaries also make numerous smart home products that can be controlled via Amazon’s popular Alexa smart home control hub.
Lennar currently has 14 showrooms up and running in the U.S. that showcase Amazon’s smart home technology, and is planning to create even more. Amazon officials said that many of the visitors to these showrooms are more interested in the technology itself, and aren’t yet in the market for a new home.
“We wanted customers to experience a real home environment that showcases the convenience of the Alexa smart-home experience, great entertainment available with Prime, and Home Services,” Nish Lathia, general manager of Amazon Services, told CNBC. “Lennar offers the potential to enable this experience within easy driving distance of millions of customers.”
“There’s cross-pollination that could happen, where somebody may walk in the door interested in an Alexa product, and they may say really, ‘I’d love to have this home,’” David Kaiserman, president of Lennar, told CNBC.