Origin Energy has entered the Smart Home arena with a very affordable $199 Home HQ starter set. It is only available in Victoria at present but will be eventually rolled out nationally. You don’t need to be an Origin Energy customer either.
Origin’s Executive General Manager Jon Briskin said, “Home HQ uses open-source technology, which means that it will be able to connect many different smart devices over time,” and added that it would run through a single app, indicating that it would be a simple process to expand your collection with third-party smart devices once you’ve installed the kit.”
The kit comprises one smart bulb (choose Bayonet or Edison screw), two entry sensors, a motion detector, a smart 240V plug outlet, temperature and humidity sensor, and the Wi-Fi Home HQ gateway. You can expand the kit as well.
You can use any iOS or Android smartphone or tablet as a camera as well. This creates approximately 220MB of data per hour when viewing a real-time video stream. Cloud-based Home HQ motion detection videos are approximately 0.6MB for every 5 seconds of video recorded at standard quality.
Why a smart home?
Simple – it allows you to monitor and control aspects of your home remotely via the internet. No more, “Did I turn the iron off?”
Home HQ will expand into controlling more devices, such as smart locks, and standalone cameras via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Zigbee technology.
Why so low cost?
Origin is trialing this and will offer a premium Home HQ app for $5 per month offering extra cloud storage for any video recorded using the app (5GB instead of 50MB), and video recordings up to 5 minutes long, compared to 1 minute on the free app. Plus you will want to buy more pieces of kit.
It is early days but its good to see an energy company getting behind the concept. As a bonus, it has access to anonymous energy use data to assist in future grid planning. Undoubtedly it will also link to smart meters and other devices in the future.