California-based KB Home has become the first company working with Google to build homes powered by Google’s smart home technologies, including Google Assistant, Nest devices and Google Wifi.
“We are pleased to be the first homebuilder that Google chose as a partner. Our new KB homes are built to fit our homebuyers’ unique lifestyles, preferences and budgets,” said Jeffrey Mezger, chairman, president and CEO of KB Home, in a statement.
These Google-powered smart homes will be equipped with smart devices from Google, including mesh networking device Google Wifi, two smart speakers (a Google Home and a Home Mini) and a Nest Hello smart video doorbell.
KB Home will integrate these devices into the KB Smart Home System, an ecosystem that integrates and manages multiple connected devices in the properties. If homebuyers want more connected devices than the basic devices, they may ask KB Home’s assistance to get appliances that support the KB Smart Home System.
The Google-powered homes will be included as part of select new-built communities in Denver, Las Vegas, Jacksonville, Florida, and Orange County, California.
By working with KB Home, Google can expand its customer base and sell its solutions directly to home buyers. KB Home also works with DISH Smart Home Services to deliver professional installation and integration for home buyers.
For Google, this strategy may be more efficient compared with promoting single devices in retail stores and explaining how to install and connect with other devices to establish a complete smart home experience.
Google isn’t KB Home’s first tech partner to collaborate on smart home sales. Back in 2016, the homebuilder said it would launch in California the first-ever community powered by Apple HomeKit. The basic package, which costs about US$4,000, includes a smart door lock, thermostat, lights and a fan which support Apple HomeKit and can be controlled by iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch. Devices such as an iPad and Apple TV are provided to let users interact with home devices remotely.