Since the release of Google Home in Australia in July, some of Australia’s household known big companies like Telstra, Optus, Officeworks and JB-Hifi have all started stocking connected home ‘related’ products. The Australian Market is still an enormous way away from the counterpart market in the US, or even the UK. All the above mentioned companies stock the Google Hardware line, including Home and the newest Google Hardware release from the October 4th event. Also a few other connected products like ‘smart lights’ (which is really just the bulb and a fancy app) or security cameras.
As more of the Australian stores trickle into what most companies must only assume to be a TREND in the market, it is becoming increasingly HARDER to find the products Australian households actually want and need, because of the small selection of connected home products available, which is dictating the skills and actions able to be programmed. Many households are spending all this time and money setting up costly systems that will ultimately fail for individual day to day use. This habit and movement of settling for what is available in Australian commerce will eventually kill the trend before it has a chance to get its footing.
These above mentioned larger companies are focusing on the connected home / home automation / smart home/ smart devices. With both Telstra and Optus featuring in the smart home KIT of devices, even if they are a small selection on the kits, it shows a readiness for both companies to follow through on this investment in the trend once more companies hit Australian Shows, (the likes of Amazon and Apple are perfect examples)
Telstra offer a sparse range in a Sengled smart light bulb, a window sensor, a door sensor, wide-beam motion sensors, a smart power plug, a Zen smart thermostat, an outdoor Wi-Fi camera, an indoor Wi-Fi camera and indoor or outdoor security camera, security sensors, and a Wi-Fi controlled power adaptor. The kicker is, to use any of these devices you must sign up with a two-year contract costing about $3,065 AUD.
Optus on the other hand have the google home available in stores, and have opened an experimental flagship store in Sydney featuring a nice little display of an Australian living room ‘of the future.’ Which allows customers to touch, and try the latest technology including Smart Home devices, Smart Switches and Google Home and they plan to roll out 5 more stores just like this one by the years’ end. They even have a the Pepper Robot greeting customers as they enter the store.
(Pictured above is the SoftBank Pepper Robot)
According to VP of Optus Retail, Frances Martin (the connected home) “over time will allow users to connect to their home base to open garage doors, answer doorbells remotely, and turn on home heating, all from their smart device."
The future home he mentions, is already here, In America. Australians just want access to those devices, there is many skills, services, apps and devices made to do all the things he mentioned, ironically.
You can buy the Ring Doorbell from multiple retailers already, and About Automation is testing one at the moment to help you decide if your home needs one. You can read a preview of the install for it HERE