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

alexa
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.

Deals

Amazon and Best Buy smash prices on August smart home security locks

Amazon and Best Buy have the lowest prices for two August smart home door locks during a limited time sale. August was one of the first smart door lock companies designed specifically for smart home convenience and security.
Smart Home

Ring home security system now works as a hub for smart home devices

Ring is helping the issue of smart home fragmentation with its Works With Ring program. It lets thousands of smart home devices built on Z-Wave connect to Ring's Alarm Base Station.
Home Theater

Logitech’s Harmony Express remote: a steep price for simplicity

Thanks to its built-in Alexa support, Logitech's latest remote, the Harmony Express, eliminates huge button layouts with voice commands to control all of your smart home gadgets. But at $250, is it worth it?
Trash

Our favorite smart thermostats let you stay warm without burning money

The right thermostat can do more than just adjust the temperature of your home, it can also learn about you and help you save money. Check out our picks for the best smart thermostats on the market right now.
Smart Home

Philips Hue users can activate their favorite routines through Google Home

Philips Hue expanded its Google Home integration through the Gentle Sleep and Wake routine. Just give Google the proper instructions are your lights will brighten or dim over half an hour.
Smart Home

There will be 200 million smart speakers by year’s end, analysts say

A new report by the research and analysis firm Canalys predicts that more than 200 million smart speakers will be engaged by users by the end of 2019, which is a growth of over 82% from last year.
Product Review

4K in home security is finally here, thanks to Arlo’s Ultra UHD smart cam

The 4K home security camera is finally here! Class-leading image clarity and a super-wide field of vision makes Arlo Ultra an early contender for the year’s best smart cam. While there are definite quirks to the device, the device…
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.
Smart Home

SMEG debuts colorful dual-fuel Portofino 48-inch ranges for no-compromise cooks

When SMEG launches new kitchen appliances, you can count on retro-classic design, gorgeous high-end finishes, envy-inducing functional wizardry, and lofty prices. This week SMEG launched its Portofino Dual-Fuel 48-inch Pro-Style Range.
Deals

Walmart offers big price cuts on air fryers from La Gourmet and Farberware

Walmart made deep price cuts on air fryers from La Gourmet, Farberware, and others. Air frying is faster, healthier, and easier to clean than traditional deep frying. You also can use most air fryers for baking, roasting, and grilling.
Deals

Amazon drops a killer Instant Pot deal, with prices under $60

Instant Pots are the popular kitchen device known for making cooking easier and faster. Thinking of finally getting yourself one? Amazon dropped the price of the Instant Pot Duo Mini. Prepare delicious meals this Easter Sunday with this…
Smart Home

I have seen the future, and it’s full of salad-making robots

Think that robots bussing tables, tossing salads and baking bread is a futuristic concept? It's actually not as far away as you might think. Robots took center stage at a food robotics summit in San Francisco this week, where they showed…
Smart Home

Ecobee leverages humor in a heated discussion with climate change skeptics

Ecobee cranked up the heat on climate change doubters. In observance of Earth Day, Ecobee and ad agency DCX released video of a social experiment that tested the effectiveness of humor in easing tension during discussions with skeptics.
Smart Home

Miele stuns with wireless probe, self-descaling java pot, and other new products

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.