Wi-Fi-certified smart homes eliminate dead spots from the garage to the patio

The “smart” in smart homes comes as an afterthought — it’s not the home itself that’s intelligent. Rather, it’s the devices and appliances in it. A few companies are designing and building homes to have such devices working together from the start, including homebuilding company Lennar . On Wednesday, it launched the first Wi-Fi-certified smart home designs alongside Amazon Alexa. You can buy a home designed with voice control, shopping, and home automation in mind, giving the notion of a smart home a brand new meaning.

The builder has become the first to adopt the Wi-Fi Certified Home Design program from Wi-Fi Alliance, the global network of companies that works for the adoption of Wi-Fi globally, according to a company press release. So what does that mean for you? In essence, you’ll be able to control your lights, lock your front door, and set your thermostat by chatting with Alexa. And your home will be built with all those capabilities in mind. Samsung SmartThings hubs, Honeywell thermostats, Ring video doorbells, Lutron lights, smart locks from Baldwin or Kwikset, and Sonos speakers are all potential devices that could come with the home when someone buys it.

“We’re very excited to work with Lennar to integrate Alexa into their Wi-Fi Certified Home Design program,” said Daniel Rausch, vice president of Alexa Smart Home for Amazon. “We’ve seen tremendous interest from our Alexa customers in controlling more aspects of their smart home through Alexa, and Lennar makes that easier for customers by seamlessly integrating devices that Work with Amazon Alexa into their Wi-Fi Certified home designs.”

The Lennar homes will be the first in the world to be constructed according to the new standard, which brings a streamlined approach to Wi-Fi network design that is meant to ensure whole-home connectivity with no dead spots. That means that your network will work with any and all smart devices. It also means your garage will have Wi-Fi, and you’ll be able to connect to your network from your deck.

Should your lock start behaving bizarrely, Lennar said it will also offer “white-glove activation and service” of these devices.

Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Convert Review: A simple route to a smart lock

While it lacks the features and overall value of the August Smart Lock, Kwikset’s Kevo Convert offers a simple and friendly route to upgrade your front door’s deadbolt. Learn more in our full review.
Smart Home

Google Home vs. Amazon Echo: Which one is better for you?

What happens when you compare the Google Home vs the Amazon Echo? Both smart speakers have good qualities, but what happens when you compare they're features side-by-side? We think one of these smart gadgets wins over the other.
Smart Home

Leviton’s Wi-Fi Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers give your home a brain

Is your home ready for a brain transplant? Adding individual smart plugs is quick, easy, and inexpensive, but the benefits are limited to one plug at a time. Leviton's Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers can give your home a brain.
Smart Home

Qualcomm goes all-in on Amazon Alexa voice control with a new development kit

Qualcomm is releasing an early valentine for smart home device manufacturers. The new development kit for its Wi-Fi networks integrates the Amazon Alexa Voice Service to enable voice control in more devices.
Smart Home

Innit showcases new solutions for LG’s Signature Kitchen Suite at KBIS 2019

LG Electronics has equipped its new Signature Kitchen Suite devices with a host of technologies and guests of KBIS 2019 can check out the company's new innovations from Innit, including new adaptive cook programs.
Smart Home

Researchers are once again trying to science the gluten out of bread

If you've ever found gluten tough to stomach, help may be on the way. Researchers and farmers are exploring solutions that include gene-edited bread, as well as alterations to carbs and fiber.
Smart Home

Frigidaire goes for ‘wow’ factor with new Gallery ranges, fridges, and more

Electrolux's Frigidaire brand is going all out at KBIS 2019. The appliance manufacturer's introductions this year include new ranges with gas, electric, or induction heating; a new refrigerator; and a new dishwasher in its Gallery line.
Smart Home

Say so long to silver. Samsung brings new colors to household appliances

Samsung introduced two new appliance colors, Tuscan Stainless will be available for several kitchen appliances starting in May and for the Family Hub in August. New Samsung washers and dryers will be offered in Champagne Finish.

Instant Pot prices have dropped on these 5 models by up to $30

Whether you're an Instant Pot beginner or Instant Pot veteran these popular multi-cookers are worth the hype. There are so many Instant Pot models on sale right now, it might be hard to choose. We've rounded up all the deals here so you can…
Smart Home

Miele stuns KBIS 2019 with wireless probe, self-descaling java pot, and more

Miele rocked KBIS 2019 with waves of new appliances and features. The annual Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show is all about product launches and Miele's appliance reveal was like New York Fashion Week with a single designer.
Smart Home

Amazon’s wall clock is back on the market after Bluetooth snafus

Amazon's Alexa-enabled Wall Clock was a minor disaster when it was finally released in December because of widespread Bluetooth connectivity challenges. After some tweaks, it's now back on sale for $30.
Smart Home

The Nest Secure included a microphone no one knew about — except Google

The Nest Secure home security system has had a microphone this entire time that no one knew about, except Google. The company claims the mic was never turned on, but customers are outraged.

From folding phones to 5G -- here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked

Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event treated us to a real parade of technological excellence, from folding phones to new fitness wearables. Here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked on February 20.
Smart Home

GE Appliances shows off wall oven with built-in air fryer, food dehydrator

GE Appliances is taking the air fryer trend to its logical conclusion and adding one to a wall oven. The company's new oven, on display at this year's Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, also includes a food dehydrator.