Plant Prefab, a company that builds prefabricated single and multi-family homes, has just gained Amazon as one of its newest investors. Funds for the Southern California company will come from Amazon’s Alexa fund, which is oriented towards supporting and promoting voice technology innovation. Director of the Alex fund, Paul Bernard, described Amazon’s interest in Plant Prefab in a statement, “...they make sustainable, connected homes more accessible to customers and developers.” According to the company, Plant Prefab uses non-toxic building materials and is able to reduce building cost by 10% to 25% and significantly reduce energy, water, and resource use through its patented building system.
Amazon is one of the most influential and valuable companies in the world, and is rapidly changing markets and human behavior from food to films. With ever more of our purchasing taking place online, and with our residence, working, and leisure environments increasingly filled with smart devices, it makes perfect sense for Amazon to invest in companies that build houses for its devices and which are connectivity-friendly themselves. Companies like Alphabet, Apple, and Amazon fiercely compete to provide software services to the masses, but what effect will the ubiquity of digital tech have on the future of human and environmental health? Could the pervasive nature of the Internet of Things (IoT), or the resource requirements of a fully connected infrastructure deliver us an unsavory and unsustainable future? Furthermore, with vastly vertically and horizontally integrated companies like Amazon dictating more aspects of our lives, what institutions or bodies will oversee this culture-shifting power?
Find out more about the Internet of Things here.