John Chambers, executive director home and premium services at Telstra, said the platform would connect a range of devices through an app. It will have its first public display at the Technology and Gadget Expo on 25-26 June at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
In a press release Telstra said: “The Telstra Smart Home platform is designed to integrate devices from different suppliers, supporting a range of new products, technologies and applications controlled from a desktop, smartphone or tablet application. The platform is currently being prepared for trial and should be available in market later in 2016.”
Two Smart Home packages will be available at launch:
- The ‘Watch and Monitor’ option will enable users to keep an eye on things when they’re away from home with motion sensors and a camera that can be set up to send instant alerts to their device.
- The ‘Automation and Energy’ option comes with smart power plugs and motion sensors, will help customers set up tailored energy solutions for their home.
Icontrol’s Zigbee based platforms are claimed to support a wide range of devices through Icontrol’s OpenHome Developer Program “designed to ensure interoperability between the Icontrol Converge and Touchstone platforms, devices and applications via open standards.”
Icontrol says it launched the program with the ultimate goal of creating an ecosystem that allows people to personalise their smart homes by picking and choosing the products that best fit their lifestyles without worrying about compatibility.
Chambers said the two launch offerings were the applications that customers had indicated they wanted today but down the track the platform would support “emerging technologies and services, such as in-home health care, dynamic energy management and entertainment.”
Telstra’s two launch offerings
In a blog post he suggested some use cases:
“Looking for peace of mind knowing your kids have arrived home after school? You can set your Smart Home up to get a notification direct to smartphone or tablet when the front door opens, or alternatively get notified if it doesn’t.
“Check your in-home cameras to make sure your pets are okay while you’re at work, or set up motion sensor in rooms you don’t want them getting in to receive instant notifications if they’ve ventured out.
“Plug your iron or hair straightener into a smart plug so you can either set a rule to make it automatically turn off at a certain time, or switch it off directly from your phone.
“Set your lights to go on and off at varying times, so it looks like you’re home. Or go one step further and set up smart plugs on sound systems or TV so it sounds like there’s people around.”
IControl a smart home pioneer and leader
Icontrol was a pioneer in the smart home gateway market and is now the subject of a rumoured takeover by Comcast. In a September 2014 article commenting on the entry of Apple, Google and Samsung into the smart home market, Forbes said: “While these moves marked the entry by the broader tech industry into the smart home, these companies were actually late to the smart home party compared to Icontrol Networks. That’s because for the past few years, Icontrol has been helping some of the largest service providers in North America roll out smart home services through their OpenHome software platform, including names like Comcast, Time Warner, Bell Aliant and ADT.”
On June 11 US IoT blogger Stacey Higginbotham reported: “Comcast and Alarm.com are in negotiations to buy Icontrol. … Sources familiar with the deal say that IControl will sell some of its assets, including its Piper-all-in-one security product to Alarm.com. Another section of its business will go to Comcast.” There has not yet been any confirmation of this. However Light Reading reported: “According to multiple sources, rumours have been circulating for several weeks, if not months, about this potential deal.”
According to Light Reading Icontrol has dominated as the smart home platform of choice for large operators in the US cable market. “Comcast, Time Warner Cable (now Charter Communications), Cox Communications and Rogers Communications are all Icontrol customers, with a host of smaller operators also adopting the platform.” Icontrol claims that its platforms control over 36 million devices.