Advances in smart home technology are proving to be one of the biggest trends at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

What would life be like with AI (artificial intelligence) technology in your home? A home that understands you.

A home that knows when you wake up and cools your house to 23.5°C, the exact temperature you feel most comfortable.

A home that turns on the news at 6pm and dims the lights at 7.53pm as you sit down for dinner.

Not because you asked it to (through the voice assistant linked to your Telstra Smart Home) – but because it’s been learning from your habits and pre-empts your needs. What’s really exciting (and no doubt scary to some) is that this reality isn’t as far away as you might think.

Last year Telstra brought the Internet of Things (IoT) into Australian homes with the launch of Telstra Smart Home.

From sensing sofas to techy-tupperware, we’ve been deep diving into all CES has to offer to share our premonitions for the future of the smart home.

Couch potatoes and smart sofas

You might not see your trusty three-seater settee prepare you a sofa snack in the next few years, but there’s no doubt couch life is about to get a whole lot smarter.

French furniture retailer Miliboo’s connected sofa aims to revolutionise our couching and slouching with motion sensors.

Not only will you be able to wirelessly charge your mobile handset or tablet – the connected sofa will track how long you’ve sat in front of the TV – and monitor your posture.


IoT brings endless opportunities to connect and integrate devices in our homes. Through the power of Telstra’s networks, we’re working to grow the potential of the connected home.

But did you ever think that your trusty plastic tubs and would join the smart home revolution?

Startup Ovie is promoting “the world’s first smart food storage system” that tracks foods in your fridge and reminds you to eat them before they go bad.

It also claims to help with meal planning by suggesting recipes based on what’s in the fridge, and includes a sharing feature for users to offer food to family members and friends that they no longer want.

Smarter homes becoming safer homes

Through the one-stop Telstra Smart Home App, Through the one-stop Telstra Smart Home App, Australians can now be at home when they’re not physically there, integrating smart cameras and smart lighting into their lives.

Here at CES 2018, safety and security are continuing to be a big focus. AI and video analytics capabilities have advanced significantly over the past 12 months, and are increasingly being built into smart home cameras to detect anomalies and make homes safer.

We’ve seen new fall-detectors, which monitor and alerts family members if an older person has a fall, as well a smart safe that lets owners know if anyone has tampered with it.

Hands-free cooking and voice assistance

Cutting raw chicken but need to steam the vegies in the microwave. No worries. Just ask.

Amazon announced this week that customers in the US can now control their microwave ovens using the Alexa virtual assistant.

The growth of voice assistants, and integration into the home, we believe will be one of the biggest tech trends in Australia this year.

We welcomed Google Home as a Telstra partner into the Australian market mid-last year and our insights show us that Telstra Smart Home users with Google Home, use their Smart Home technology four times more than those without voice assistants.

Voice assistants have really brought smart home tech to the mainstream.

Wearables come of age

In the last few years, wearables have at last found their niche as health and fitness devices.

But long before Fitbit and Garmin brought wearables to the mainstream, futurists had much bigger things in mind. This is starting to come to fruition as wearables integrate with smart home technology.

We’re seeing examples of how smart home technology will detect when a person is present through their wearable, triggering smart lights and power sockets to automatically react.

About-face and AI

In today’s Telstra Smart Home, you could wake up and ask your voice assistant to turn on your coffee machine, all while lying in bed.

In the future, through AI technology, your smart home might be able to monitor your behaviour and predict when to turn on your coffee machine – without even needing to ask.

But what if you (yes you) walked into the kitchen, and your home used facial recognition to know who just walked into the kitchen, and started making the flat white you enjoy at 7.23am every morning.

Facial recognition is certainly on the cusp of being big in the home, with startups like Woohoo combining facial recognition, voice recognition, as well as AI into smart home technology.

AI is certainly looking set to be the future of the smart home – and has been one of the biggest talking points at CES this week in general. Watch this space.

From receiving a live video when the kids get home from school, to being able to lie in bed and turn off the lights – Telstra Smart Home is already changing lives.

But after four days at CES, we can’t wait to bring some of this emerging technology to Australian homes.