Earlier this week, Google announced a partnership with KB Homes to bring Google smart home products into the earliest stages of the housing design process. KB Homes is one of the largest home building companies in the US and focuses specifically on household efficiency. Smart home design is for everyone according to KB Homes CEO Jeffrey Mezger who states, “Our new KB homes are built to fit our homebuyers’ unique lifestyles, preferences, and budgets.”
The program, called the KB Smart Home System, will feature a number of hardware products supported by the Google Assistant. The system will initially only be available to customers in Denver, Colorado; Las Vegas, Nevada; Jacksonville, Florida; and Orange County, California. The companies aim to expand the program depending on reception by consumers in these select areas.
Among the devices to be included in the system are the Google Home, Google Home Mini, Google Wi-Fi, and the video doorbell Nest Hello. Other connected hardware products such as light fixtures, door locks and appliances can also be built into the home based on the homebuilder’s preferences.
Michelle Turner, Google’s Director of Product Management for the Smart Home Ecosystem explained the idea behind the partnership in a post on Keyboard: “People often buy smart home products ad hoc: install a thermostat here, buy a smart speaker there. But now that smart home technology is becoming more prevalent, we should be building homes around that smart home technology, so that all products can work together to make living in your home simpler.”
It is true that smart devices are becoming increasingly commonplace in homes, with one in five adults in the US having access to at least a smart speaker. The collaboration between Google and KB Homes further speaks to the expectation that modern homeowners want to be fundamentally more connected. The partnership marks a turning point in home construction and design as the industry moves towards a technology-first approach.