Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Alexa’s moving into your next apartment with Amazon’s residential program

Amazon has become a ubiquitous part of the modern world, but now it may even make its way into rental properties. On Thursday, Amazon unveiled its Alexa for Residential program. This program will make it easy for landlords to include Amazon and Alexa-powered devices in rental units across the country, including the Echo Dot and other products.

The idea is that Alexa’s smart speakers will be available from day one in rental properties. Even before renters move in, Alexa will be able to help with self-guided tours by providing information about square footage, monthly rent, and more. Renters can link their Amazon accounts to the speaker to access all of Alexa’s features. Once a renter moves out, property managers can reset the speakers without removing their connections to existing smart-home devices.

Amazon has taken numerous steps to ensure its position as the default smart home platform, viewing itself as a utility like lights and plumbing. In 2018, the homebuilding company Lennar began including Alexa and smart locks in its new builds. Amazon has also created partnerships with hotels and college dorms to bring its devices into these spaces. By doing this, Amazon places itself at the front of the pack and makes it more difficult for its competitors — Google Assistant and Siri — to claim their part of the spotlight.

Alexa for Residential program
Image used with permission by copyright holder

On the other hand, re-using smart assistants that other people have used creates privacy concerns. Amazon addressed these concerns by saying that property managers cannot access customer data. Renters do not have to worry about their landlords listening in on them. By default, voice recordings are deleted daily and are inaccessible to human reviewers. If a renter links their Amazon account to a rental Alexa, they will have access to the platform’s full suite of privacy features.

The moves by Amazon to bring it into more spaces as a service will likely help grow the already-impressive market lead that Alexa has over the competition, especially given the partnerships Amazon has formed with companies like Iotas, Stratis IoT, and Sentient Property Services. Amazon will also be opening up the potential for partnerships with more companies.

Editors' Recommendations

Patrick Hearn
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Patrick Hearn writes about smart home technology like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, smart light bulbs, and more. If it's a…
Here’s how to throw a killer Halloween party with your smart home
spooky halloween lighting haunted house

The spooky season is almost here, and if you’re worried about throwing the perfect Halloween party, consider using your smart home to do the heavy lifting. Common smart home gadgets such as motion sensors, light bulbs, and smart plugs make it easy to pull off a horrifying Halloween party for your guests. From assisting with your playlist and movie selections to creating a chilling ambiance, here’s a look at all the ways your smart home can help you throw a killer Halloween party.
Use motion sensors to trigger spooky sounds
Have a smart home security system? Then you can probably rig up your motion sensors to play a spooky noise. It doesn't necessarily have to be a motion sensor, either -- your smart camera can trigger other devices in your smart home when it detects motion.

Just place a speaker on your porch, perhaps tucked away behind a pumpkin or a bit of straw. When a group of unsuspecting kids shows up to ask for candy, they set off the motion sensor on the camera, which triggers the speaker to play the sound of a zombie's moan or the cackle of a witch. Bonus points if you set up an animatronic hand to rise up out of the straw.

Read more
The Amazon Echo Hub is almost the whole-home hub I’ve always wanted
Amazon Echo Hub.

I’ve long dreamed about having a proper sort of home hub. One that’s always on, always showing me the things I want to control at any given time. Not huge. Not obtrusive.

The new Amazon Echo Hub, one several new Echo devices announced at Amazon's 2023 devices event at HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia, very much seems to fit that bill. It’s a touchscreen that you’ll use to control all your things.

Read more
Why moving your smart home could be a nightmare
Philips Hue Appear Outdoor smart light.

The smart home concept is a great thing. It allows us to automate things from lighting to temperature, make video calls while we prepare dinner, and get answers to questions instantly. In its current state, it has one fatal flaw, however: The smart home is not really meant to move.

In fact, you might want to leave behind the majority of your smart home gadgets when selling your property.
What to know about moving smart home gadgets
Think about it: Some of us have literally dozens of devices including lights, thermostats, robot vacuums, speakers, security cameras, wireless alarm systems, and more. How would you go about removing, relocating, and reconnecting all those devices to Wi-Fi in a new house if you ever need to move? On the surface, it sounds daunting.

Read more