We’ve been dreaming of smart homes for over 100 years, but only recently have we seen technological breakthroughs that can make autonomous homes a reality. In the podcast episode “Smart Homes & IoT: A Century in the Making”, serial entrepreneur Andrew Weinreich traces the history of the smart home and puts the smart home in the context of the larger Internet of Things (IoT) revolution.

Total global spending on IoT devices and appliances across all environments (work and home) was an estimated $737 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach up to $1.4 trillion by 2021. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, IoT is projected to have an economic impact of somewhere between $4 to $11 trillion on the global economy by 2025, when factoring in its impact in sectors like manufacturing, health, retail, and the smart home.

The podcast features an interview with Professor John Barrett, one of the foremost IoT researchers and Head of Academic Studies at Nimbus Centre. Talking to Andrew about the smart home in the broader concept of the IoT space, John gives his view on the future of the smart home and what smart communities might be capable of down the line.

“I guess the current perception of the smart home is one of gadgets, one of what would be seen as home automation, and things like smart appliances, smart security, smart energy management, all sorts of individual gadgets that can allow you to do one thing or another. I don’t think that is the long-term evolution. It’s not just a home of gadgets. It’s a home that’s embedded in a wider smart community.”

“Perhaps water levels are rising in one part of the community, and your smart home detects it. An alarm is sent to other areas of the community. As it propagates through different houses, it can map out the direction of propagation, and where the water is rising fastest. It could then predict the likelihood of which streets need to be evacuated. The homes begin to form a network that looks after the people.”

To hear the full episode “Smart Homes & IoT: A Century in the Making” click here.