Telstra jumps into home automation with Telstra Smart Home

Alex Kidman 22 June 2016

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According to Telstra, its Smart Home platform will offer smart monitoring features, home automation and energy management when it launches later this year.

Telstra’s best known as a telco, but it also has interests in media through devices like the Telstra TV, health, energy and other technology platforms. Today the company has announced its play in the home automation market, a platform which it’s dubbing Telstra Smart Home.

You won’t be able to buy Telstra Smart Home devices until later this year, but Telstra’s aim is for the platform to be open and extensible built around a single, simple application for consumer home control. That’s not an uncommon aim for home automation products, whether you’re talking Belkin’s WeMo infrastructure, Google’s Nest or Apple’s HomeKit platform.

Telstra’s Smart Home is built on the ZigBee platform for low power home networking, which raises the distinct possibility of other ZigBee devices to fold into a Telstra Smart Home enabled home. At the launch, Telstra’s Executive Director of Home & Premium Services John Chambers noted that they’re talking to other platform providers and expect to have "at least HomeKit compatibility on deck for devices at launch."

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When it does launch, Telstra will make two primary Telstra Smart Home packages available. A watch and monitor package will include the core smart hub, door and window sensors and smart camera for home security and monitoring purposes. The second package will be an automation and energy package which will include door & window sensors, smart plugs and motion sensors. Telstra will also provide additional devices including smart locks, thermostats, motion sensors and outdoor cameras with plans for further devices down the track.

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Packages will be offered on a monthly subscription basis, with pricing not stated but expected to be "about the price of a couple of movie tickets". Telstra plans at this stage to only offer subscription for the Telstra Smart Home platform over a 24 month basis.

Telstra’s hype for the platform includes the future possibility of interactivity with smart car platforms, as well as its own existing Telstra Health and Telstra Energy products.

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