Amazon Is Creating A New Tool For Smart Buildings
UPDATE, NOV. 30, 8:03 P.M. ET: This story has been updated to include information about WeWork’s partnership with Alexa for Business.
Amazon could be ushering in the next advances in smart building technology.
The e-commerce behemoth is preparing to roll out an "Alexa for Business" platform. The voice-activated virtual assistant will be designed with a specific set of skills for office use, such as assisting with teleconference connections, adding data to sales programs or booking conference rooms, CNBC reports.
Though buildings are becoming increasingly smarter as owners implement facial recognition technology to replace security cards or sensor technology to optimize spaces for employees, most properties are still in the early stages of applying this technology and are working out the kinks.
WeWork is one of the first companies to partner with Amazon to test Alexa for Business. The $20B co-working forerunner has been beta-testing the platform at its Chelsea, New York, headquarters for about a month, Tech Crunch reports. WeWork employees, but not members, can check meeting room availability, adjust lighting, reserve conference rooms and report problems with their workspace using Alexa. Employees are still testing out the kinks, and it is unknown when Alexa for Business will roll out for WeWork members worldwide.
Alexa for Business is expected to come complete with personalized features that allow businesses to accurately identify and authenticate different users in the workplace.