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?