Telstra is entering the world of connected appliances with a range of smart home devices available to purchase on a contract.
Smart home appliances are often sold as individual items, like a single light bulb, a single smart switch, or a single camera. Sometimes these appliances will talk to one another, sometimes they won't. In order to try and simplify what some may see as a daunting prospect, Telstra is selling its smart home appliances as kits with multiple components. For example, the automation pack includes motion sensors and Smart Power Plugs. As such, you could configure a heater (that you plug into the smart power plug) to turn itself on when motion is detected.
Telstra is offering two basic smart home packages: an "Automation and Energy Starter Kit", with a Smart Home Hub, two Door and Windows Sensor, a Wide Beam Monitor Sensor, and two Smart Power Plugs; and a "Watch and Monitor Starter Kit" with Smart Home Hub, Indoor Wi-Fi HD Camera, and two Door and Window sensors.
Both kits are billed at $25 per month, but must be purchased on a 24 month contract. This works out to be a minimum of $600 across the two year duration. There is however a small catch; at the end of the two year period, you'll have to keep paying $25 per month if you want your smart home gadgets to keep working.
A Telstra spokesperson told WhistleOut that contract doesn't just cover hardware costs, but access to the company's underlying smart home infrastructure.
"Signing up to Telstra Smart Home on a contract-basis means customers can get access to: a reliable and secure platform hosted by Telstra’s data centres; 24x7 phone-based tech support; 200 SMS alerts per day and unlimited email alerts; live video feeds and secure cloud storage for 30 x 15 second videos and 30 still image files per day; and the ability to review daily events with detailed history of alerts from our app."
In addition to the basic kits, Telstra is offering additional smart home appliances. Cheaper options - such as the $48 Smart Power Plug - are billed as one off charge. More expensive items - like the $216 Smart Thermostat - get paid off in 24 $9 instalments across the life of your contract.
Other optional appliances include a Lockwood Smart Lock (24 $19 instalments), a pair of Sengled Smart Bulbs ($72), a Door and Window motion sensor ($24), a Wide Beam or Narrow Beam motion sensor ($48), an Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera (24 $9 instalments) and an Indoor Wi-Fi Camera (24 $8 instalments).
Telstra Smart Home devices are available now through Telstra's website and select Telstra retail stores. You'll need an internet connection, Wi-Fi, and an Android or iOS device to run the Telstra Smart Home companion app. You don't need to be a Telstra subscriber to sign-up.