Even the mastermind behind Alexa isn’t happy with his smart home setup

If you’re struggling to get your smart home set up exactly the way you’d like it, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, arguably one of the greatest minds in smart home, Charlie Kindel – the mastermind behind Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa – is right there with you.

Announcing that he was departing Amazon after five years overseeing the meteoric rise of Alexa, Kindel cited his “crusty” home automation system as one of the projects he’s now going to have some extra free time for. 

Apparently his system was installed in 2001 (back when Kindel still worked at Microsoft) and is in serious need of an update. He’s also planning on putting some time into “a car restoration project that is two years behind schedule”.

Pro set-up

In a post titled ‘Friday was my last day at Amazon’ on his personal blog, Kindel said: “My home automation system needs a complete revamp (it’s gotten a bit crusty since it was installed in 2001).”

Kindel isn’t planning on DIY-ing his system, rather he’s “hiring a CEDIA-level installer to completely refit my home automation system and [he] will project manage that.”

Moving away from Amazon didn’t stop Kindel from promoting Alexa when talking to Cnet about what he’s planning in terms of his smart home overhaul. 

He’s apparently planning on installing the Savant universal remote (Steve Jobs’ last patent he filed while alive) that allows you to control everything in your home, using a combination of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and infrared. 

The device was designed by the team behind Beats headphones, and was a cool $500 at launch. Another major draw for Kindel is apparently the “solid Alexa skills” that it comes with. 

Andrew London

Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.