Andy Rubin, who invented the Android OS, wants to conquer the smart home

Rubin dreams of making all your gadgets and appliances talk to each other to automate your life:

David Pierce, writing at Wired:

Until May 2017, Rubin was tight-lipped about his new project. It showed up on employees’ LinkedIn pages as “Andy Rubin’s stealth hardware startup,” and the company filed for trademarks and patents under the name Henry’s Products LLC, after an employee’s dog. The actual name of Rubin’s new company is Essential. Its goal is both strikingly simple and absurdly preposterous: to finally bring the smart home vision to life and to build the next great American electronics company in the process. The team is working on a smartphone to compete with the iPhone and a living-room gadget that can control your entire home. Both hook into Ambient OS, Essential’s operating system powered by artificial intelligence. Ambient OS is there to scan your data, learn your routines at home and on the go, and predict your needs, then get your dozens of bechipped gadgets cranking together to control your environment in a way that feels natural, normal, and human.

Rubin relishes big challenges, but this will be his biggest yet. And if he can pull it off, he will be one giant leap closer to finishing what he’s actually been working on all this time: bringing the whole world online, so he can find out what happens next.

The problem with Rubin’s vision as described here — and every other smart home vision I’ve seen — is that it doesn’t solve problems real people have:


Imagine automating your morning routine for maximum efficiency and ease: At 6:15, your alarm goes off, the lights turn on, NPR starts purring, the bacon begins to sizzle, and your motorized closet whirs and presents you with today’s perfect outfit based on your schedule and the weather forecast.

My morning routine is fine. It does not require automation.

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