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

Amazon declined to comment on the report.

Wonder who Amazon is going after...? It's not clear they'll stay free forever, but Best Buy's Geek Squad also offers free smart home consultations for now. The move could cut down on returns, too - smart home devices can be intimidating if you're a novice, and this might convince some newcomers to stick with their products.

In-home consultations are available through the company's website and are available in seven cities: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Orange County, California. Now, according to reporting from Recode, Amazon will be a major competitor in the space. Now, Amazon wants to add being on your doorstep and in your home to that long, and growing list. According to an Amazon job listing, the new field technicians will be responsible for setting up and troubleshooting technology products in customers' homes, as well as providing expert product advice. Geek Squad claims to offer five basic services: installation, set up, protection, support, and repairs. They also provide tech support and fix services for PCs.

It makes sense when you consider the long-term prospect of the Amazon Echo - the company's voice-controlled smart speaker - and how it's being positioned as a hub for smart home products. Right now, the company will send a technician to your home for about $99, if you live in one of several West Coast cities.

If Best Buy wasn't already aware Amazon is gunning for its business, it is now.

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

Amazon describes the smart home consultation as a three-step process.

Amazon already offers a marketplace where service providers offer services like plumbing, masonry, TV mounting, etc but given the increasing popularity of smart home devices, it seems that Amazon feels it's important to have a team in-house that can help customers set up these complex devices.

  • Latoya Cobb