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The world most advanced Smart home -Xanadu 2.0

Updated: Mar 27

In 1988 Bilgates bought a house for Ksh 200, 000 million and over a few years spent over Ksh 6.3 billion to make the smartest home in the world. Xanadu 2.0 as the home is known, boasted application of artificial intelligence that could learn and apply personal preferences. The imagination to achieve such kind of ambition, and the dedication shocked the world. Apart from the mid - century design, expensive art and other luxuries, automation in the home was genius, intelligently disguised and thoroughly implemented to unexpected levels of practicality. 


Having whole home music  was overboard in the 20th century. It was enough to own bulky audio equipment in the living room. Bilgates took it a bit too far with a whole home, multizone system that was equipped with AI. The AI in Bilgate’s home was assisted with a pin that worked with sensors in the home to register human presence and attach the identity of the pin with a set of preferences like music, temperature and light intensity. It then took time to learn the person before improving on providing the guest with the best possible personalized experience. 

It is possible to have a multi zone music system with such technologies as Control4 and Russound. This is years later when we can have Contro4 understand your various moods and music corresponding to the moods. If you have some IT background you can use Home Assistant to achieve better AI in music selection. However, AI in smart home application still remains a fairly complex feature. In the Kenyan market, to have this feature you can use control4.


The sensors trace your location and can light up the bulbs ahead of you and fade them behind you. I have not come across a technology like this today, this is definitely amazing. The house system would know who is in the room, the light temperature and brightness they prefer and adjust accordingly. The system would even merge two preferences to achieve a compromise if there are two people in the room.

Smart houses use human and motion sensors to detect human presence and trigger automations. However, commercially available sensors that study behaivor of a person and personalize their experience do not exist in the market yet. This does not mean they don't exist in totality.


There are several smart thermostats today but the idea goes back to the late 20th century at Xanadu 2.0 home. The Pins carried by the house occupants were able to relay information about the micro-climate preference and the house Air Conditioner would do the rest. That way you just need to walk into the room and the house will know exactly what you need. 

Home Entertainment 

Having a dedicated home cinema is not a new idea. Xanadu has a dedicated home cinema room with commercial cinema quality of sound and screen and definitely exceeding level of comfort. But what is strange is that Bilgates was able to have the house screenplay same content for a guest as they change rooms! You can start a movie in the first room, and as you move to the second room, find the same movie and scene waiting for you to continue watching! This is not a smart home feature but a very good innovation to maximize convenience.

The Future 

Of course most of these technologies would not cost you more than Ksh 5 million today, which is a really small fraction of what Bilgates spent. However, we must appreciate what his imaginations were able to inspire in the world of home automation today. Smart homes in Kenya is still a new idea. However, we estimate that many Kenyans are interested to learn more about making smart houses.

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