Amazon’s Alexa could soon come as a standard amenity when moving into a new home.
The everything company’s Alexa Smart Properties team is trying to partner with property managers, homebuilders and hoteliers to put its virtual assistant into homes throughout the country, according to the Wall Street Journal. It hopes to up its market share by offering custom software, discounted hardware and new ways for property managers to collect and use data.
The move would allow Amazon to add millions of new users and provide tenants with amenities they couldn’t install themselves at rental properties. However, it could also prevent tenants from switching to products from competitors and raise a host of privacy issues.
Amazon has already partnered with Zego, a subsidiary of the rent-payment service PayLease, and the firm hopes to use this partnership to make it easier for tenants to pay rent. PayLease hopes to launch its Alexa-compatible smart-home system to more than six million apartments within five years.
Lennar Corporation, one of the largest home builders in the country, also started offering Amazon’s smart speakers last year in a portion of the 35,000 new homes it built, a move it will continue to do this year.
And Amazon is building data hubs for Marriott as well for the launch of its Alexa for Hospitality service. The hubs will let Amazon provide information about how guests engage with Alexa devices in hotel rooms, which will be able to perform services ranging from adjusting the thermostat to recommending restaurants. [WSJ] — Eddie Small