7th July, 2017 | 3 minutes

What is a connected home?

by Jude Watson
Connected Home Geek

Imagine if your home could anticipate your needs. It could automatically set the temperature during the day and turn on the lights at night. Perhaps play music to welcome you home after a hard day at work. It could even give you peace of mind by showing you that your family is safe when you’re at the office.

This is the reality that comes with having a connected home.

The connected home revolution is here. But what is it all about?

At their most basic, connected devices are exactly that – Wi-Fi connected, remotely controllable and in most cases, compatible with other connected appliances to make your life safe, seamless and smart.

Ranging from lighting, heating, security, to audio and entertainment, a connected home can not only mean you have to do less, but possibly spend less. Imagine a security camera so smart that you can keep an eye your home, even when you are away from home or a smoke alarm that warns you about different types of fires and whether there are any carbon monoxide gases in your home.

With more than 7.7 million Australian households accessing the internet and approximately 25.4 million mobile subscribers nationally, it’s no surprise this is a rapidly growing industry.

What can you expect to see in a connected home?

Everything from lights, thermostats, refrigerators and smoke alarms to sound and security systems can all be operated remotely in a connected home, giving home owners greater control over their lives.

The number of internet-connected devices in Australia are expected to triple by 2020. Here are just some of the smart appliances you could potentially see in your home in the near future:

  • Outdoor and indoor security cameras: These cameras will be accessible through an app on your mobile and will alert you to somebody sneaking around your property.
  • Sophisticated smoke and carbon monoxide alarms: They’ll test themselves automatically and can be silenced easily through your mobile phone. They could even alert you to smoke from a potential fire while you’re out and about.
  • Smart thermostats: They’ll remember your temperature choices throughout the week and adjust automatically to conserve power and help cut down on your bills.

So, how does it work?

Constant connectivity seems to have become a natural state for many Australians thanks to the internet. This level of connectivity has led to the Internet of Things (IoT).

The IoT is made up of internet-compatible physical devices, such as smart devices, appliances, vehicles and even buildings. These devices can all connect through in-built sensors, apps and communications networks, allowing them to talk to one another and exchange data.

This is how all the appliances within a connected home communicate with your computer or mobile device – through the Internet of Things.

What’s driving the technology?

Security has been a major driver behind the connected home, with internet-connected cameras, motion-sensor alarms and even doorbells that can be answered from anywhere, via a mobile phone. A connected home gives you an extra set of eyes over your home when you’re not there, for added peace of mind.

Energy efficiency has also been a driving factor. Did you leave the lights on? How much will that add to your energy bill? Don’t worry; with an app on your smartphone you can turn the lights off without going home.

Much of the latest solar technology takes advantage of the connected home, enabling owners to remotely monitor battery levels and instruct energy-guzzling appliances to operate when sunlight is available.

Let the tech work for you

With the Internet of Things becoming increasingly popular, expect to see more clever and connected appliances that can improve your home’s security and help you save.

iSelect is Australia’s exclusive home of Nest connected home devices. We currently stock the Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Cam Outdoor and Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. These clever devices can help you get more from your connected home.

Learn more about Nest connected home products

Learn more

Any advice provided in this content is of a general nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You need to consider the appropriateness of any information or general advice we give you, having regard to your personal situation, before acting on our advice or purchasing any product.

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