We’re still in the wild west days of the smart home revolution. Diving into building your own smart home means spending hours researching standards, compatibilities and nuances of competing devices. By the end, you’ll probably feel like an electrical engineer.
But Amazon wants to help, serving as a concierge for your smart home experience. The company already offers installation help for many smart-home devices, including smart thermostats and light switches.
But a report in Recode offers insight into a new Geek Squad-like service that will help homeowners decide which smart home gear they need and even help them with complex installs. The new service is staffed by Amazon employees, not third-party installers like the existing offerings.
During the consultation, a smart-home expert will help you find all the gear you need that fits your home and budget. They’ll even work with any smart-home equipment you may already own. At the end, you’ll get a custom Amazon shopping list of everything you need to purchase, and you can set up installation when you hit the buy button.
This makes sense for Amazon, whose Alexa-powered Echo has become the voice-enabled interface for many people’s smart lights and learning thermostats. An Amazon geek will obviously highlight the Amazon Echo (or maybe the Echo Show) as a central feature for any smart home setup.
But Amazon could benefit in other ways as well. Recode quotes experts who note that the complications that come with setting up a smart home means more returns, which is a burden Amazon has been keen to avoid by offering clearer product information for years.
The new consultation service is available now in a limited number of markets. Each consultation lasts 45 minutes. You can check if consultations are available in your area and sign up for a session now, or sign up to be notified when they’re available in your area.