Smart Home. Is it a reality?
The 60s Jetsons TV show brought with it the first popularised hope of a voice-controlled home. But is a smart home science-fact or still science-fiction?
We have all heard tales of the uber-rich clapping their hands to run a warm bath. The reality is many of these functions have, until recently been expensive, emerging, and very niche.
The recent releases of Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa has many Australians asking, “Is the smart home a real thing and can I have one?”
Let’s start with the official statistics.
In Australia, the ABS has stated** the average number of ‘IOT Home Components’ per house is 3.3 in 2018. By 2021 it will reach 14 devices. Australians are already on their way to adopting the strong Smart Home trend of the USA. Over there mega-retailers like Home Depot and Best Buy have the smart home front and centre in their offering.
What type of Smart Home is right for me?
There are almost infinite ways to combine the thousands of products that make up the ecosystem. Lets focus Let’shree of the most popular configurations:
Easy setup with Apple Homekit
Apple’s “HomeKit” offers a seamless and secure suite of products to build your smart home around. This appeals to Apple fans, and also those who want to have one brand of phone or tablet app to control all devices.
It comes at the expense of a more limited product range. Especially when compared to the more extensive range compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Then there is SIRI, who has been around longer but just hasn’t got the same big bag of tricks as the other voice assistants.
2) Pairing Smart Devices with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
You can build your smart home gradually by choosing from 1000s of cutting-edge devices. Voice commands are the core way to interact with your smart home.
With the release of Alexa Routines, you can say something simple like “Alexa, it’s exercise time”. That invokes a scenario of lights turning bright, fans blowing, and high energy music playing on Amazon Music.
3) Ultimate Control and Interoperability with Z-Wave
Z-Wave is a smart home protocol that uses low-energy radio waves, perfect for the stability and the reach needed for Smart Home Automation.
This solution appeals to the true technical DIYer. You know someone who loves technology and wants ultimate control by choosing from literally thousands of Z-Wave products, each with the potential of being a trigger for the next.
The main consideration is your choice of Smart Hub. We think the the Vera Plus is an excellent and extensible choice.
Do Australians get the latest and greatest Smart Home options?
Unfortunately no. There are many examples where manufacturers just can’t justify their launch in smaller markets like Australia.
Some highly publicised examples include Samsung Smart Things and WINK. But there are still many great options available to Australians who want to modernise their living and working spaces through smart home innovations.
While still in its infancy, Australians, like our global counterparts are recognising the style, energy savings and safety that a smart home can bring.
GadgetGuy’s take. Thanks to our guest author who is the real expert on smart homes
Michael Verghios is Director at Nimbull Smart Home, a website dedicated to helping all Australians benefit from Smart Home technology. His passion for Digital & Technology has seen him in senior roles in APAC and North America. Being a certified and official partner of companies like Google & Microsoft for over 15 years has given him the ability to spot key trends while they are still radar blips, bringing invaluable insight to clients and stakeholders.
** Telsyte Australian [email protected] Market Study 2017 Source: ABS 3236.0 – Household and Family Projections, Australia, 2011 to 2036