I was lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with Andrew Weinreich the creator of the “Predicting Our Future” Podcast & serial entrepreneur. If you haven’t heard of Andrew I recommend that you click the links above to take a look at his profile, he holds one of the original patents on social networking technology if you scroll down through the list of people and companies that reference his patent and there probably more than a few people and companies you might be familiar with such as Jeff Bezos, Amazon, IBM, Yahoo & Facebook.
Andrew’s podcast covers next revolutions in technology, and fortunate for us he was doing several episodes on Smart Home Technology & Home Automation. Episodes 10-16 cover smart home technology, my favorite of which is episode 16 which covers the Smart Home Operating System, in our interview he talks about the biggest opportunity in the smart home space for future entrepreneurs.
Andrew’s Podcast & Episodes: PREDICTING OUR FUTURE PODCAST
How did you come up with the topics of Home Building & Smart Homes for your first few episodes of the Podcast?
Andrew: I think about every product I know is made in a factory from your phone, to the fork on your table, but homes and apartments are not, and so I wanted to do a deep dive and see whether or not I could imagine what it would take for us to get to a place where every apartment building and every home is made in the factory, and so I choose Home Building & Smart Homes as one of the protocols to examine.
James-OneHourSmartHome.com: That's actually right up my alley. My background is in general contracting and I think the biggest thing that I've seen is that there is so much room in the industry home building & construction industry to productize construction to deliver more cost effective, more efficient, higher quality homes and buildings. The same thing is true for the smart home space there are a lot of parts and pieces out there that people have adopted such as the Nest, Ring doorbell, Smart Locks, and Wireless Cameras. But there's not really many people in the market that design smart home systems from the ground up to bundle everything together and make a fully functional product that ties everything together for new buildings. But that’s what we do working with the architecture and engineering teams to refine the process of how a building is built to maximize end user functionality and deliver a smart home system and product that will work in their new building.
How did you get involved in the smart home space?
Andrew: I find it to be fascinating, absolutely fascinating. What got me excited about home automation was, I think about Microsoft's dominance desktop computing years in the late 90's and I think about Android and IOS, and the question for you becomes, what's the operating system of the future for the home? How do you conceive that operating system? Then what does the home look like if you were incorporate artificial intelligence into it?
I try to construct a picture of what that looks like, because what is on the market now is not really an operating system, it’s all these applications that live independently. Alexa, Siri and Google home are more of glue that’s sticking these disparate apps together but not a true operating system. In order to achieve what I think is the future potential of the smart home, those applications need to over time function more like operating systems. The whole idea of how the home would operate would tactically change and we could think of the home as something that takes care of you, as opposed to you taking care of the a home is what intrigued me.
What do you envision smart home operating system looking like? Is it a home just knows what you want at all times and making decisions on what's best for you?
Andrew: I think that very similar to my view. But the way I envision it is like this; you go to bed at night and your google calendar is integrated with Alexa, and so your Google Calendar knows that you've got to spinclass tomorrow at Soulcycle, and because there's artificial intelligence it’s able to look at how far you have to travel to get there and understand how of how long it takes you to get ready before you go. So, your alarm is automatically set for you; you don't need to set your alarm, it's just dynamically set for you, because your calendar is integrated. Your coffee machine is on the network, your coffee is made, when you leave your home there's a sensor on the door and it's obvious you left and your home shutdowns for maximum energy savings. So, everything is designed to take care of you.
When you leave your office, your G.P.S. location could be integrated into the cloud and the operating system knows you are coming home and gets your house ready for your arrival. I think you could tell this story line of the future about, how your house will be smart enough to take care of you, without you really needing to do anything.
James-OneHourSmartHome.com That sounds like a great vision of the future; I wish we had that right now. Were same page on where the future of the smart home automation space is going.
In the near term, where do you see the biggest growth happening in the smart home automation space? Is it this operating system layer that you're talking about?
Andrew: I mean the biggest growth area will be artificial intelligence for the home; it barely scratches the surface, right now everyone is focused on applications that you build for the home for specific devices, it’s because of this that the growth area will be artificial intelligence and gadgets.
James-OneHourSmartHome.com: In terms of the opportunities, obviously you're saying artificial intelligence is one of the biggest growth areas in the future of the space. Is it something Amazon or Apple providing? Or is it something that is custom made or custom programmed for each Home?
Is artificial intelligence just going to be so smart it's going to look at all the data from all of homes out there and it's going to be able to put this sequence of operations together for you?
Andrew: Well, in order for artificial intelligence to work effectively it needs to be integrated with an operating system that has the ability to manipulate or control all the different devices in your home. So, all these things to work with each other there needs to be standard protocols for them to integrate with artificial intelligence, which is why full scale smart home artificial intelligence is still years away. In the short term I think what's more interesting is all of these new applications that are coming online and the new methods of user interfaces such as voice. I think it's really exciting what Amazon's doing with delivery, where they can access your house for a delivery and record a video of the product being delivered door to make sure you are safely receiving your packages and deliver the product. I think these things are all really interesting. But the reason we are still years away from for the scenario I just described, is that you need total integration of all these devices, and you need this layer of artificial intelligence that this is about the controlling all of the devices not just one or two from a specific provider.
Right now, who do you think in the home automation space is furthest along in this vision and who do you think the dominant players are going to be in 2018 and winning that game in the near term?
Andrew: Amazon and Google are far ahead.
What are your overall goals for the Podcast? Is it do dive deep in different verticals in technology or is it a prediction of the future?
Andrew: It’s both, its for a person to understand what my vision is in different verticals, and second if you're an entrepreneur where I think there are opportunities for you to start a business.
James-OneHourSmartHome.com: What was that first podcast like? Did you take a course or anything or you just turned on the computer one day and said hey I'm going to start a podcast and I want to start talking about these ideas I've got that I think are going to change what's happening?
Andrew: I listened to a bunch of Podcasts and did a ton research, for that first series we got the 30 hours of interviews, I like to talk about things when I feel like I have some degree of expertise. So, I did an extensive amount research in all the spaces we covered.
You said you listened to a lot of podcasts to get ready for it; who were the top 2 or 3 Podcasters that that you listened to for preparation for launching your own podcast?
Andrew:I listened to a lot of podcasts, but I love the style of the Serial and Malcom Gladwell. Even though they’re very different. Both are of a very different nature, but I love stylistically how engaging they were.
In terms of podcasting, what was one of the biggest things you’ve learned since starting this, that if you're working with someone in the future on a podcast, what advice would you give them?
Andrew: I mean it’s funny you ask that because we just launched another podcast Deciding by Data which is interview based. I would say before you engage in any activity, you’ve got to get really smart with space and I think when you have that correct that you’re going to figure out what your style is, what it is about that style that you think is engaging how to replicate it, you need to master the technical components of what you're doing - how to edit audio how to have clear audio.
You've got to think through how to have underlying music, how to get rid of poor sound instances, there's a lot to master, and then you got to figure out what it takes to be a good storyteller, and that's a challenge to be the storyteller. So, with all that I said, what I would tell someone is that anything you do, do it well, and that means there could be a great deal of study associated with all that.
In preparing for the podcast for the smart home automation series what devices did you get for your home? and what devices do you have, and which one do you think has made the biggest impact in your life?
Andrew: I have an Alexa, a Google Home, Philips Hue Light Bulbs, I have Sonos, and I have Nest. What I find is – I’m very much enamored with automating my lights with voice activation. But I think the holy grail, that I personally haven’t been achieved in my own home is the integration of all these things, I mean there's something really nice about voice activation, you get in bed and you adjust the temperature you adjust the lights, you adjust the blinds, and then I think you get to a nicer place when all of the sensors in your home recognize that you want to do all of those things.
Imagine you reading a kindle; one day you will get to a place where you’re reading a kindle and if all of a sudden you stop turning the pages, it’s time to go to sleep and the lights go out. All of these things could get integrated at some point but it requires a level of intelligence in the cloud.
So, is this podcast your full-time venture? What else do you have going on?
Andrew: I'm the chairman of a business analytics company; I sit on several boards. I run a boot camp, I have a lot of things going on, it's one of several.
James-OneHourSmartHome.com: What's the boot camp about?
Andrew: It’s called Andrews Roadmaps it’s in accelerator for early stage entrepreneurship.
James-OneHourSmartHome.com: Andrew, thank you for the great interview, and I wish you well on your podcast adventure.
For More Information:
Andrew Weinreich: Wikipedia
Contact: Predicting Our Future