Amazon launched Alexa for Residential, a service for property managers that allows them to arrange Alexa-powered Echo devices in their buildings, converting them into ready-to-move smart buildings / apartments for tenants. Amazon has connected with IOTAS, STRATIS IoT and Sentient Property Services use Alexa for residential purposes. The companies plan to open such smart homes in the US later this year.
The tenants of such buildings do not have to have them Amazon account to use Alexa on the devices that are already in the properties. The Amazon voice assistant This allows them to “control the smart home functions of their apartment, set timers and alarms, call up weather, news and more from the Echo device in their device ̵
The Amazon blog post states, “Alexa for Residential also allows property managers to offer custom language experiences that extend beyond the walls of their apartments. You can create custom Alexa skills for each unit in a property so residents can manage rentals, maintenance requests, reservations for amenities, and more. Property managers can also use Alexa-enabled devices in free units to answer frequently asked questions, enable self-guided tours, or demonstrate smart home features that are available in each unit. ”
Using a random Alexa device in a new location makes the privacy issue pop up in a big way, especially after rumors have surfaced in the past about devices with Alexa technology that are secretly listening to their users’ conversations. However, Amazon adds that “Property managers do not have access to customer data and voice recordings are automatically deleted every day. When a customer links their personal Amazon account, they have full control over their privacy settings as if the device were their own, and their preferred privacy settings are automatically applied. Residents can unlink their account at any time, and when moving out, devices in the unit can be reset along with the rest of the smart home devices. ”