قالب وردپرس درنا توس
Home / Business / More Builders Are Selling Homes Wired For Technology But Data Privacy Is At Stak: NPR

More Builders Are Selling Homes Wired For Technology But Data Privacy Is At Stak: NPR



Lennar's New Home Consultant Brittney Svach is selling "smart homes" at the Amazon Experience Center at Black Diamond, Washington, about an hour south of Seattle.
                
                
                    
                    Joshua McNichols / Joshua McNichols
                    
                

toggle caption

Joshua McNichols / Joshua McNichols
        
    

Lennar's New Home Consultant, Brittney Svach, sells "smart homes" at the Amazon Experience Center in Black Diamond, Wash., About an hour south of Seattle.

Joshua McNichols / Joshua McNichols
            
        

When the Ferguson family decided they wanted to live in the Seattle suburb of Black Diamond they were not in the market for a smart home. But they wound up with one, a house packed with Internet-connected devices.

Fifteen-year-old Macey Ferguson loves it. "I just feel really fancy," she says about having Amazon's Alexa there to turn on the lights for her, or to remind her when to go to cheerleading practice. "I feel like she's my little servant, or butler." Her older brother uses it for Math Homework, her younger sister for calling grandma. Her three-year-old brother asks Alexa for cake recipes so he can stare longingly at the photos.

Kelli Ferguson, the mom in this household, is more ambivalent. On the one hand, it's nice to ask Alexa to heat up the house before crawling out of bed in the winter. On the other, there's all those cameras. "If I'm walking on our street, I walk on the other side of the street," she said. "Just because I do not feel like being on everyone's cameras."

Living in a smart home neighborhood, the Ferguson's experience both convenience and surveillance. And that's typical in Black Diamond, where Lennar Homes offers smart homes as part of a 4,800 unit development that includes other builders. There are smart home developments in suburbs outside of cities such as Miami and San Francisco. Lennar is making Amazon tech standard on each of the 45,000 homes it builds this year.

This partnership between builders and Amazon benefits both sides. Amazon wants to push for the adoption of its Echo smart speaker. Lennar relies on Amazon to help distinguish it from other home builders in communities like Black Diamond.

But do users really need smart home technology?

Amazon really wants you to think like that. In Black Diamond, the pitch starts at the Amazon Experience Center, a model home just around the corner from the Fergusons.

Lennar New Home Consultant Brittney Svach throws out commands on a smart home samurai, using her voice to lock the door, start the robot vacuum, close the blinds, and call on a smart television from one of the home's many surveillance cameras. "Alexa, show me the backyard," she commands. Up pops a video. "And now we can spy on whoever's having a drink out on the patio."

Amazon has a lot to like about it. A Zillow survey says smart homes technology is the list of desirable home features, lagging behind air conditioning and storage. It's roughly as important as a hot tub for those shopping for a home.

But Dave Garland thinks the technology wants to take it off once people try it. He's with Second Century Ventures, an investment arm of the National Association of Realtors. "There's a new narrative when it comes to what 'home' means," he says.

Black Diamond resident Drew Holmes buys that line. Like the Fergusons, he was not looking for a smart home, but the technology came with the one he happened to like. Now he enjoys all the smart home features. "I would not live without them," he said.

His favorite is a doorbell ring that logs visitors. "I have teenagers," he said. And I have proof of it. "

Therron Smith had a very different reaction to the smart home pitch. "He thought."

Smith works in tech, and says that's how he knows the risks. It's not just cameras, even light switches capture information. "That's not just sitting there, just … empty," he says.

When they make a home in Black Diamond, they're not just buying property – they're staking out a position on how they'll allow tech companies to intrude into their lives. This is becoming a standard in more neighborhoods.

You can learn more about how the KUOW podcast subscribes, " Primed ."

Editor's note: [19659026AmazonisoneofNPR'srecentfinancialsupporters


Source link