Amazon may have been courting the custom installation market at recent CEDIA events, although the company is now taking on the industry with its very own smart home installation service. While the company won’t be installing big home automation systems anytime soon, Amazon is set to offer a variety of smart thermostats and lighting solutions through its installation service.
The new service launched by Amazon is very similar to Best Buy’s Geek Squad, which is also available in the United States. Both services give consumers the opportunity to pay a small fee to get their products professionally installed, although there are some key differences.
Best Buy’s Geek Squad largely operates using the company’s own employees, although on some jobs the company turns to external contractors. That won’t be the case with Amazon’s service, with contractors kicked to the curb in favour of the company’s own employees. All of the people working for this service have been background-checked and picked for their experience, passion and track record.
This isn’t Amazon’s first foray into the service industry. In the US the company already operates a similar service for various different industries, connecting consumers with professionals. The services covered by this include electricians, plumbers, home cinema installers, and gardeners, amongst others.
Custom installers won’t be all that impressed by Amazon’s new smart home service, after all it’s incredibly basic. There are currently just 25 products that can be installed through the company’s new initiative, although the most interesting aspect is the smart home consultations. These will give consumers the opportunity to discuss with Amazon experts what they want from their smart home. The consultant will then assess the Wi-Fi network and give product recommendations. This will be completed with a demo of various smart home products and a showcase on how Amazon’s Alexa can tie them all together.
The consultation is currently free, although Amazon does charge various different prices for installing smart home technology. Setting up an Amazon Fire TV will set a consumer back $9.99, while a smart thermostat installation will cost $99.99. That’s relatively standard pricing.
Amazon’s Smart Home Services is available in select locations throughout the US, although the company will likely roll it out to more markets in the future. As of July 12, Seattle, WA and Portland, OR are the only two locations where the service is available outside of California, with those in California being San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Jose.
Amazon has yet to confirm when the service will be rolled out to other markets, although the company is hiring ‘field technicians’ in Tampa, Hoboken, Miami, Orlando, Glendale, Cupertino, Austin, Houston, Dallas, and Las Vegas.
It’s not yet known whether the retail giant plans to launch a similar service in the UK, although the smart home offering on Alexa in the UK isn’t as vast as in the US, as noted by CE Pro Europe. If it does choose to launch in the UK, then it can rest in the knowledge that it won’t be alone, with John Lewis and O2 also offering smart home installations.