There are so many possibilities available to you with modern home technologies. Here are just a few amazing AV ideas that Bill Gates used to improve his home.
Smart home technology isn’t exactly a new thing anymore. Anyone who has an Amazon Echo or even an Apple TV, has already used it on a basic level.
But that’s only scratching the surface. Imagine that you had a huge amount of money that you wanted to dedicate to improving your ‘at home’ experience.
What would be possible?
To find the answers, it’s best to look at the people who’ve already invested massively in home technology. And there’s perhaps nobody whose home is more impressive than Bill Gates.
The co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates was once the richest man in the world. Even though he’s lost that title, he still has a net worth of about $90 billion.
Gates also has a stunning home to experiment with. The property, which he named Xanadu 2.0 in reference to a property featured in Citizen Kane, cost him $60 million to build. It covers an astonishing 6,100 square metres and has a huge amount of tech installed.
How much, you ask?
The property needs a huge server system just to handle all of the tech that’s built into it.
Let’s take a peek inside and look at eight of the most impressive AV technologies at Xanadu 2.0.
Technology #1 – Rotational Artwork
Most people view the artwork they have hanging in their homes as a “one and done” scenario. You pick a piece and find somewhere on the wall to hang it. After that, it’s there until you decide to replace it. And if you do want a new piece, you’re going to have to go out and buy another canvas.
That’s not a problem in Bill Gates’ home. Instead of hanging canvases, Gates installed $80,000 worth of LCD screens on the walls.
Each of these screens displays a piece of art. If you don’t like what you see, you just press a button and another piece rotates into view.
If he had a mind to, Gates could give each room a new artistic theme every single day.
But it’s the technology behind these screens that’s particularly impressive. Gates has invested $150,000 into storage systems for the huge number of pieces that he can rotate through.
Technology #2 – The Underwater Music System
A pool is probably one of the first things that you’d think of when looking to improve a home. But it also seems like an area that’s not particularly well-suited to AV technologies. At best, you might be able to set some speakers up around the pool area.
That’s not the case at Xanadu 2.0.
Gates built a 60-foot pool that connects to an outdoor terrace area. He also installed an underwater music system that plays whatever music you want while you’re swimming. Even when you’re below the water’s surface, you can still hear the music.
Technology #3 – Sensors and Electric Pins
Imagine walking into a room and seeing it change before your eyes based on your preferences.
That’s exactly what happens at Xanadu 2.0. Every room in the house comes equipped with an array of sensors. These sensors pick up on the signals generated by electric pins that every visitor gets issued with.
These pins contain information about the visitor’s preferences when it comes to music, temperature, and lighting. When you walk into a room, everything changes to meet your preferences. Plus, your preferred music follows you from room to room.
You’d assume that means that every room has speakers all over the place. You’re right, but not in the way you might think. The speakers are actually hidden from view behind the room’s wallpaper.
It’s all extremely impressive today. What’s more impressive is that Gates was so far ahead of the game when he installed this technology in the 1990s.
Technology #4 – The Stunning Home Theatre Room
Everybody likes to settle down with a good movie every once in a while.
At Xanadu 2.0, you’d do that in a huge theatre room that’s capable of seating 20 people. The room has a huge screen and an Art Deco theme. Instead of regular cinema chairs, there’s a selection of couches and armchairs to choose from.
Best of all, Gates installed a popcorn machine so that his visitors never have to search too hard for snacks.
Technology #5 – The Maple Tree Sensor
Gates apparently used a barge to remove a home that previously sat on his property. That means he’s not a man who’s going to let something like another house get in the way of his dream home.
However, he couldn’t bring himself to get rid of the maple tree that encroached on his property. Instead, he fell in love with it to the point where he used modern technology to keep track of how it’s doing.
Sensors keep track of the tree’s condition 24/7. If they notice that it’s getting a little dry, they pump water to the tree to keep it healthy.
Before Gates arrived, the tree had already lived for 40 years. If his tech holds up, it’ll probably outlive everybody on the planet.
Technology #6 – The Library’s Pivoting Bookcase
We’ve all seen those spy movies where somebody moves a book and an entire bookshelf rotates to reveal a hidden passage.
Bill Gates built that very thing into Xanadu 2.0’s library. Twice!
His library features a couple of pivoting bookcases, which just seem to be there to add some more character to the room. One of those bookcases spins around to reveal a bar. That sounds ideal for those who enjoy a glass of wine during their late-night reading sessions.
Technology #7 – The Video Screen in the Reception Room
Gates really went over the top with his reception room.
It’s large enough to seat 150 people for a dinner party. This goes up to 200 people when all the furniture gets removed.
Most people’s houses can’t fit that many people.
But again, Gates’ love of technology comes to the fore in this room. At one end, he’s built a 6-foot wide fireplace made out of limestone.
On the other end is an enormous 22-foot television screen. That’s about the size of the average cinema screen. We imagine that Gates uses it during conferences and the like.
Technology #8 – The Guesthouse
Naturally, Xanadu 2.0 has a guesthouse. You might assume that said guesthouse doesn’t come close to matching the main house in regard to the technology that it contains.
That’s not the case.
Remember that Xanadu 2.0 was far ahead of its time when Gates built it back in the 1990s. A lot of the technology that he installed didn’t exist anywhere else.
That meant he needed somewhere to test it.
The guesthouse served that purpose. You’ll find several of the technologies used in the main house, such as the sensors and electronic pins, in the guesthouse as well.
The Final Word
With Xanadu 2.0, Bill Gates proved what’s possible if you’re able to dedicate millions of dollars to making your home a high-tech paradise.
It’s also a testament to the entrepreneur’s forward-thinking nature. In the 1990s, the technology in his house seemed reserved for science fiction movies. The average person couldn’t imagine things like the sensor and pin system that adjusts rooms to the occupants’ liking.
Bill Gates owned a smart home before people had any idea what a smart home was.
Even today, the technology built into Xanadu 2.0 is as impressive as ever. However, much of it is now more accessible for normal home owners than it was back in the 1990s. Ideas like the rotational artwork installations are things that you can have in your home, and modern technology can even use sensors to adjust rooms to your liking.
Would you like to find out more about how you can turn your home into a high-tech paradise?
Get in touch with Core Innovations Group today. We’ll discuss what you currently have and what you’d like to have so that we can create a solution that suits you.