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Amazon's latest service helps you set up your Alexa-powered smart home

Amazon's latest service helps you set up your Alexa-powered smart home
From TechCrunch - July 10, 2017

Amazon has been quietly rolling out its own repair and installation service, a competitor of sorts to something like Best Buys Geek Squad, according to a report from Recode out this morning. The service is live now in seven markets across the U.S.including Amazons hometown of Seattle, among other West Coast metros. It involves the use of trained Amazon employees who can help you with installations of smart home devices, Wi-Fi networking systems, and of course, Alexa-compatible products.

According the offerings home page, Amazon experts are available to consumers in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, L.A., Orange County and San Jose for the time being. However, Recode spotted job postings for a number of other cities around the U.S., indicating further expansion plans to the East Coast and beyond.

The new offering goes beyond Amazons existing marketplace for home services, which is now a few years old. In that case, Amazon connected consumers with vetted home pros for a wider range of services, including things like consumer electronics installations, but also general home improvement services, plumbing, auto mechanics, lawn care, housekeeping, iPhone repair, and much more. Essentially an Angies List competitor, Amazon Home Services is available across the U.S. today.

Amazons Geek Squad-like service is more narrowly focused on getting Alexa into the home, however. The service even includes Alexa Smart Home Consultations, where consumers can ask questions and be recommended products.

The move is clearly meant to help solidify Alexas traction in the home, where Amazon already has a huge lead in terms of market share. The retailers smart speaker platform is estimated to reach a 70 percent market share by year-end, according to some reports, as consumers adopt voice-powered gadgets for their homes.

Being able to control your smart home with Alexa is one of the devices key use cases, but one that can be confusing for less tech-savvy users due to the setup and configuration still required.

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