Bengaluru's Embassy Group partners with Amazon to power smart homes

Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) | Photo courtesy: Amazon)
As it marks its entry into the premium-affordable housing segment, Bengaluru-based real estate giant Embassy Group is turning to technology to woo customers in an effort to offer a truly differentiated experience from its rivals.

The company is dabbling with the idea of smart homes and has roped in Amazon to fit every apartment in its upcoming Embassy Edge project in North Bengaluru with Echo smart speakers and accompanying smart devices.

Homeowners will be able to control lights and appliances with their voice and will even be able to remotely monitor their homes through Amazon’s service. The project will have a little over 800 homes and will be completed in the next four years.

“Being the first in real estate to bring this integration of voice-enabled homes in India, we believe that this will revolutionize the residential sector. We will be replicating this concept in our other residential projects across micro markets,” said Jitu Virwani, Chairman and Managing Director, Embassy Group.

Virwani’s idea is that the company needs to do something different to modernise homes for the tech savvy buyers especially in a city like Bengaluru. The Embassy Edge project which will offer 1 to 3 bhk apartments at a cost ranging from Rs 3.6 million to Rs 8.1 million will largely target buyers working in the city’s IT and ITeS sectors.

For Amazon, the partnership marks a first in India where it will integrate its smart devices at a such a large scale project level. The e-commerce firm said it has similar partnerships in the US and other markets and had seen that home buyers saw such integrations built into homes as a standout feature.

“It’s harder and more expensive to make a regular home a smart home. You have to buy the smart bulbs and other appliances that work with something like the Amazon Echo, but when you see this you say wow I really need this,” said Puneesh Kumar, Country Manager for Alexa Experience & Devices at Amazon India.

While smart home devices have made their way to India in the past, they were often only seen in the most high-end luxury homes. Now, with Amazon’s Alexa-powered devices and even Google Home, the market for smart devices and appliances is being commoditised.

Globally, there are over 12,000 devices and appliances which work with Amazon Alexa and while not all of them are available in India, Amazon says it is seeing a lot of them becoming interested in entering India after gauging the success of Echo devices here. Further, Indian manufacturers too are looking at such smart integrations as they look to target more premium bands of the home appliance market.

Apart from disrupting the homes themselves, Embassy Group is also offering a better e-commerce experience for customers to book a home online. Couple with virtual reality, augmented reality and high quality 3D graphics, the company says a customer can get a very realistic feel of a home without actually being there. It boasts that the only process for which the buyers needs to be physically present is for the signing of documents.

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