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Smart Home

Amazon is raising an army of geeks to install your smart home

Amazon's Smart Home Consultation program has quietly launched in seven US markets.

Sarah Tew

Look out, Geek Squad -- Amazon wants your turf.

Amazon has quietly launched a new service in seven US markets where it will send real, flesh-and-blood human beings into your real, brick-and-mortar home to demonstrate, sell, and even physically install smart home gadgets. Presumably, while you watch from the comfort of your couch.

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Screenshot by John Falcone/CNET

The service is currently only available in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Jose, CA. But as Recode notes, the company also appears to be hiring in Houston, Dallas, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Hoboken, New Jersey. 

(While Amazon previously offered "expert installation" for some products, hiring its own field technicians appears to be something new. Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about when the program first rolled out.)

For now, Amazon is booking free 45-minute appointments from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, with "no obligation to buy." It's not clear they'll stay free forever, but Best Buy's Geek Squad also offers free smart home consultations for now.

Amazon will charge $99 if you want them to actually install a device -- though it's offering 20 percent off installations through July 18. 

It's worth noting that Amazon has more skin in the game than most. Once Best Buy installs its products, the customer may never see them again. But if Amazon can sell you on its Amazon Echo as the device to control your home, they're also simultaneously selling you on a voice-controlled gateway to Amazon shopping and services. 

Incidentally, today is Amazon Prime Day. We're cataloging the best deals right here.