Monday , October 23 2017

Introducing Telstra Smart Home

telstra-smart-home-launch

Earlier this year I got a peek into Telstra’s new smart home platform at the Australian Technology & Gadget Expo here in Melbourne. Using the Zigbee protocol the smart home platform promised several interesting devices, as well as the option to bring your own device. We saw a sneak peek on The Block in the last couple of weeks, and today Telstra have released it to the public.

From today, you can sign up to Telstra Smart Home for $25 a month for 24 months. This includes access to the service (I am unsure what this means) and the choice of one of two Smart Home starter kits.

The first kit is a “Watch and Monitor” starter kit that comes with two door OR window motion sensors and an indoor HD Wi-Fi Camera that can be set up to record video and take photos or viewed live from the Telstra Smart Home App.

The second kit is an “Automation and Energy” starter kit which comes with two smart power plugs, two door OR window sensors and a motion sensor. This enables you to automate lamps or other electrical appliances and control the power you use in your hours. These can all be controlled via the Telstra Smart Home App.

Remember these are just the starter kits and you can add your own devices into the included Telstra Smart Home Hub — as I was told earlier this year. Telstra now say that “you can choose from our range of additional certified devices, including lightbulbs, a smart thermostat, the Lockwood smart lock, indoor and outdoor cameras, motion sensors, door and window sensors and smart power plugs” but we will be seeking clarification from Telstra regarding this. Telstra are also going to be adding more devices in the new year.

For all this to work Telstra Smart Home requires a home broadband connection, home Wi-Fi and must be setup using the Telstra Smart Home app.

So basically you are paying the sign up fee for the Starter Kit and access to it via the app. We are unsure how this will work in the future, whether the plan payments will need to be ongoing for it to function is unclear but we hope to clear some of this up with Telstra soon.

Do you see a future with this endeavour by Telstra or are there better solutions out there? Is it a matter of Telstra making it easy for the average person to get into the IoT?

Telstra Smart Home
Telstra Smart Home
 
Source: Telstra Exchange.

Scott Plowman   Associate Editor

Scott is our modding guru - he has his finger on the pulse of all things ‘moddable’, pointing us towards all the cutting edge mods hacks that are available. When he’s not gymming it up, or scanning the heck out of Nexus devices, you'll find him on the Ausdroid Podcast.

Outside of Ausdroid, Scott's a health care professional and lecturer at a well known Victorian university.

Join the Ausdroid Conversation

11 Comments on "Introducing Telstra Smart Home"

avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
chris
Valued Guest
chris

After the disaster with Philips Hue and Zigbee where a drone fitted out can fly by a building find a hue bulb and send an update packet that replicates itself to all bulbs in range and take control of all of the lights potentially across an entire city you would think they would be finding a better system.
This will disappear no one will pay $25 a month for this when you can do it all with existing products and no monthly fee.

Member

The monthly charge would be for the kit. So you can’t expect to get the hardware for free. Then their would be other costs for extra devices I suspect. I assume Telstra are looking at way to try and lock the customer in for the long term. Since the NBN is gaining ground more and more of us have better broadband options.
First thing I would do if I was Telstra I would update TelstraTV so it only works on their IP range. That would have a better chance of retaining customers than automation ( I think anyway).

Member

Truly not interested in paying Telstra a monthly charge to use or access this. So many good options available with no ongoing monthly charge – why does this exist?

Member

i’ve been looking for a good hub available in australia with zigbee and z-wave, and i can’t find a thing. if you have any good suggestions, i’m all ears!
I can’t see myself paying $25/m for 24 months (or indefinitely) to use this service, but i think there will be alot of uptake due to the low barrier to entry.

Fred
Valued Guest
Fred

If memory serves then Philips Hue lights are zigbee based and use a hub to connect to wifi. Otherwise, the problem with zigbee is that’s it’s kind of failed – I can see wifi based IoT being much more important.

$25 pm is laughable – this is a space that’s going to get owned by Amazon (Echo), or Google (Home), or whatever apple eventually copies. And they won’t be charging a cent.

Member

Also I think echo and home compliment home automation hubs, they aren’t ones in their own right.

Member
Not interested in lights, more window sensors, door locks, thermostats, cameras, auto blinds etc. Problem is ZWave that is used in the US is completely different frequency to AU and NZ. Hence not many players bothering with it here. Even Samsung hasn’t brought smartthings here yet, and Samsung sells everything everywhere. Telstra is spending the money to bring an easy smart home kit to AU. I can’t think of anyone else that’s done similar. If telstra uses zigbee and ZWave and wifi, then it may be a compelling hub. I’d just like to know if you need to pay the… Read more »
Fred
Valued Guest
Fred
Part of the problem with zigbee – it’s a mess. And the reason I point to echo, home, etc. is that they are using various home automation devices as dumb peripherals. They are the centralising control, and are obviously going to build out from where they are. They don’t care about bluetooth, wifi, zigbee, etc. In all likelihood, the Telstra kit will be left behind – either Telstra cede control to Amazon/Google etc. and drop the fee, or they don’t have access to the smarts, the voice, etc. and die that way. At the moment it’s a bet between Amazon,… Read more »
Member

I completely agree. What am I getting for $25 a month? Other than the few sensors I can see a Home Hub and a cloud service. For a one off fee Securifi (amongst others) provide version for free (arguably more powerful although not Australian based).

Seems like an attempted money grab at a purely educated enthusiast audience. Perhaps they feel they can educate the public? Good Luck.

Member

Which securifi model do you have? Their stuff looks interesting.

dy4me
Valued Guest
dy4me

Amen to this, exactly what i was thinking.

wpDiscuz

Check Also

Some Google Home Mini review units were listening to everything – but it’s fixed

The Google Home Mini is one of the more exciting, and better priced, hardware announcements …