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Get Smart: Telstra To Invade Homes

By Oonagh Reidy | Tuesday | 17/04/2012

Project Smart Home: Telstra are to invade the home with plans afoot to control your home via automated services.

Project Smart Home is Telstra pilot of connected services in 100 households across the country currently, including home automation, which controls everything from lighting, room temperature at the remote touch of a button, as well as run of the mill entertainment devices and even appliances like washing machines, dishwashers.

This means if you are away you can automatically set the lights to come on at a certain time to keep your home more secure, or also to perform mundane tasks like switching the washing machine on or recording your favourite TV programme.

"The technology that enables people to measure and control things in their house is getting cheaper by the day," Telstra Chief Technology boss told AFR today.

And all these services would all be performed via smartphones (like iPhone) or tablets devices.

Home monitoring services would make households more secure, permitting users access to live video feeds of their home remotely, while monitoring of environmental conditions would be handy for unpredictable weather conditions which often hit Australia.

Cloud-hosted gaming shown on big screen TVs via T-Box are among other services Telstra are trialling, it recently said.

Telstra is also to expand its BigPond Movies service so films can be streamed on mobile tablets in the home and will introduce ABC's iView catch up TV service to complement existing content like AFL Live and Foxtel on T-Box.

Click to enlarge

Telstra revealed this 'connected home' strategy in March and said its new T-Bundles would form the foundation for connected home services and over time, is to make its home media content like T-Box and T-Hub available on more screens in the home.

And these are alll services Telstra believe will be needed in the mobile-centric era. "The next decade will see an explosion in connected household devices and a focus on connected home solutions helping customers access the information and entertainment they want across different screens."

And this home invasion strategy will be aided and abetted by the NBN which promises speeds of up to 100Mbps.

"It's a world where customers will be able to make high-definition video calls from their TV; where content follows people around the home and can be displayed on their preferred screen; and where home appliances like air conditioners and lights can be monitored and controlled from a smartphone screen," says Telstra Innovation Product Managing Director, Kate McKenzie said.

The telco also said the move will be a major earner for the company as traditional revenue from other sectors like phone services fall.

However, it is likely to be another year by the time Project Smart Home services becomes a reality to the general public. 

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