Creativity, ingenuity, and innovation are the cornerstones of the future. We live in an age where technology redefines reality as we know it. Each innovation, in turn, sets the foundation for further advancements, just as the internet ushered in the digital age. From social media marketing to the Internet of Things (IoT), technology has become an integral part of our lives as well as a catalyst to the way forward.
“Disruption is at our doorstep. It is redefining the way we interact, work, or live. The question is, are we prepared for this change? If not, we need to reflect back on our lives and the ecosystem as a whole,” says Omar Al Mohammed, Founder of Ghafarado’s The Pad.
Al Mohammed is an international model from Bahrain, who recently launched a fully-functional luxury voice-controlled smart home. He says his primary goal is to promote Bahrain’s technology sector, thereby drawing in new investments and turning the island country into an urban innovation hub.
He has donned various hats throughout his life. From roles with brands such as Selfridges and Fitness First to personal qualifications in first aid and nutrition, he has so far spent his career advising professionals and non-professionals alike. He has also been snapped for big names including Nike and Versace since starting his modelling career at the age of 17.
Inspired by Marvel's Ironman and voice-controlled navigational maps he became facinated with how human voices and commands can be digtially transmitted. In 2017, he posted a Facebook live video in which he demonstrated a voice-controlled robot vacuum cleaner with custom commands.
Turning his focus to Bahrain, he purchased an off-plan apartment in New Juffair, within the kingdom's capital of Manama. Using the apartment as his canvas, he designed ‘The Pad’, integrating technology into the interior and décor to create a futuristic and stylish smart home.
The Pad boasts designer made-to-order gadgets from around the globe. These include seamless chiffon curtains, a video doorbell, a robot vacuum cleaner, a wallpaper TV, a smart coffee machine, and a refrigerator with a WiFi screen. It also integrates home controls for switches and sockets to even thermostats. All are fully voice-controlled. Adding to the décor is Al Mohammed's personal photography of Bahrain’s development through the ages - he also turned his eye to creating all The Pad's graphics and branding.
Al Mohammed now wants to help nurture an innovation ecosystem to encourage other entrepreneurs and startups in Bahrain to build new products and establish their presence in international markets. “Sometimes, an individual can do and achieve a lot more, where huge organisations working for the benefit of the people and the country, fail” he says.
Today, the entrpreneur continues to model and coach in various fields while working on other projects including ‘The Glass’ and ‘The O.’ He believes his smart home project could serve to showcase that Bahrain, though small, is a power to be reckoned with in the realms of technology, IOT, and innovation, with huge potential that so far remains unexplored.
As Bahrain looks to diversify its economy, versatile talents like Al Mohammed are proving to be a valuable asset.