The national homebuilder is partnering with the Wi-Fi Alliance to launch its Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Home Design program.
Lennar is taking the next step forward in advancing the smart home. The homebuilder announced Wednesday it is the first in the world to embrace the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Home Design program, which enables seamless voice control, shopping and home automation.
As part of this groundbreaking initiative, every new Lennar Wi-Fi CERTIFIED home will include a whole-home Wi-Fi network from Ruckus Wireless and include voice activation from Amazon Alexa. This is now the new standard by which residential networking will be measured.
“We view this as a natural evolution and not a revolution,” says Lennar Ventures president David Kaiserman.
“This is using technology today from Wi-Fi and all these different places. But, it’s about doing it in a way that provides a significant enhancement in reliability and takes out all the noise. And, we believe when people start to experience the Lennar environment, it will be emulated and continue to grow. This is the way consumers envision themselves living.”
The effort is another part of Lennar’s signature Everything’s Included approach to homebuilding.
The idea of a high-performing Wi-Fi home network is not a revolutionary one. But, merging that concept with new home construction may be a game-changer.
“It’s well understood how to deploy a high-performing Wi-Fi network,” says Wi-Fi Alliance vice president of marketing Kevin Robinson. “The special thing here is that it’s marrying that know-how from more than a decade of learning how to deploy great networks with this blank slate of new home construction that a company like Lennar brings.”
During the design of each new Lennar Wi-Fi CERTIFIED project, steps are taken to ensure that home will have a capable whole-home network. That process includes heat mapping every floor for Wi-Fi signal strength and quality. That will help determine the placement of network access points, which are installed during home construction.
“We’ve made a significant inroad by starting with infrastructure like Wi-Fi to lay the foundation for an exciting set of brand partnerships that consumers really relate to,” adds Kaiserman. “And, our hope is that this will start to be less and less about the tech and more and more about the stories of life.”
Among the features in Lennar’s Wi-Fi CERTIFIED homes are smart home products from trusted manufacturers like Ring, Kwikset, Lutron and Samsung; voice control by Alexa-enabled products; iOS and Android compatibility and white-glove activation and service from Amazon Home Services. It’s an impressive set of elements that will improve the homeowners’ experience at home.
“We’ve seen tremendous interest from our Alexa customers in controlling more aspects of their smart home through Alexa,” says Daniel Rausch, vice president of Alexa Smart Home for Amazon. “Lennar makes that easier for customers by seamlessly integrating devices that work with Amazon Alexa into their Wi-Fi CERTIFIED home designs.”
“Users want all the benefits connectivity brings, but they don’t want to worry about setting it up,” adds Robinson. “They expect a seamless experience. So, we are making it as easy as possible for the end user, so it fades into the background.”
The Connected World
Kaiserman says many existing homes weren’t built for the connected world, which can frustrate those homeowners who deal with dead spots. That’s why he says every new Lennar home will be engineered with Wi-Fi as a critical piece of infrastructure, just like mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
“I foresee a time in the very near future where we will add wireless to those MEPs because that’s just everyone’s expectation,” says Kaiserman. “And, new homes will begin to engineer themselves not only for mechanical, electrical and plumbing, but for mechanical, electrical, plumbing and wireless. And, you’re going to see this proliferate, driven by consumer interests of living in a wireless environment.”
“The knowledge has been there and the ability has been there,” says Robinson. “The challenge was not realizing that we should really bring the folks together to provide that great experience, and that’s what’s happening now with Wi-Fi Home Design.”
The first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED smart homes from Lennar will be for sale in July and will be available nationwide by the end of the year.