Brookfield Residential debuts Amazon Alexa-powered smart home

Dive Brief:

  • Brookfield Residential’s Washington, DC, division is rolling out a line of smart homes with voice-enabled home automation through Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant platform.

  • Located in Northern Virginia, the homes will allow occupants to voice-active functions like unlocking doors, turning on and off lights, raising the blinds, playing music and pre-heating the oven. The system can also be programmed with custom actions.

  • The Smart Home powered by Amazon Alexa was launched at Amazon’s recent AWS re:Invent 2016 conference. Occupants will be able to tie new technology into the system as they upgrade and add devices and platforms.

Dive Insight:

Smart technology is gaining traction across the building sector. The global smart building market is forecast to grow from $5.73 billion this year to $24.73 billion by 2021, according to estimates from MarketsandMarkets. And a recent survey by Wakefield Research and Schlage suggests that millennials looking to rent are willing to pay higher rates for units and buildings kitted out with automated or remote-controlled devices.

Last month, homebuilder KB Home announced plans to incorporate a series of home automation features controllable through Apple’s HomeKit platform in two of its new communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Smart technology is becoming especially popular around energy efficiency. A survey by Zillow last month found that an increase in energy-saving home technology is being witnessed in U.S. cities with some of the largest carbon footprints. Demand for this technology, particularly among millennials, comes as homeowners look to offset the impact of higher energy costs.

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