THE BLOCK 2016 – Smart Home Automation

THE BLOCK 2016 – Smart Home Automation

Smart Homes or Homes of the Future are now mainstream I guess! Smart Home Automation is here and truly alive in Melbourne with the unveiling of some very cool new technology on the 2016 series of The Block. Voice control, facial recognition, switch glass and a whole range of new connected devices being rolled out by Telstra.

Of course many of us either in the industry or with an interest in the Smart Home space have known about many of these devices through overseas channels for a little while now but it is exciting all the same to see more Home Automation technology and connected home devices being installed and utilised here and now.

Granted, some of the technology being rolled out in this challenge apartment is possibly a little gimmicky and maybe not something all of us will consider a highly valuable investment but there are a few standout products and systems that I think need to be mentioned.


 Amazon Echo

Small, sleek and full of cool and useful functionality. Essentially a two way audio device that has mid-high quality speakers for portable music streaming but also a number of in-built microphones with industry leading voice recognition software so you can give almost any voice command. Just ask Alexa (that’s her default name – I like it!) what you want her to do.

“Alexa, call me a Uber”.

“Alexa, turn on kitchen lights”

“Alexa, play music in living room”

Too. Freaking. Cool.


Telstra Smart Home Automation

Still many unanswered questions on this one like when it is actually available or how much it will cost (kind of important right?!?) but a very easy to install and program system that essentially falls into the sometimes debatable DIY market.

Built around the wireless Zigbee technology there are sensors, thermostats, cameras, door locks, power plugs and more that can all be controlled from your smart phone or tablet and can be integrated with many other things in the Zigbee family.

There are actually other systems available right now that can do all of this but the most unique feature will be the way you purchase it. Not unlike your mobile phone (and in true Telstra fashion) it will be a monthly fee spread over a 24 month period.


Push Controls

Not a new product, but a damn good one that we’ve used heaps! New upgrade has increased functionality and allows full control of TV’s, audio systems, pay TV, video devices and more. Also has seamless integration with automated lighting control systems, wireless speaker systems, CCTV and security systems.

So, so, so many good features but most importantly, one of the most user-friendly and fluent interfaces on the market. In english – It is clear and easy to use for anyone in the family from any smart phone or tablet. Not convinced? Check out the Push website for a fully interactive demo to get you excited.



Wanna learn more? Contact the team at Smarter Buildings to for more information.