Aussies are living through a smart home boom
Australians are living through a smart home boom, with one in three upgrading their home during the coronavirus pandemic and one in four considering smart, connected additions for their household, according to new research.
And experts are tipping the trend will grow even faster this year as more tech renovators grow in confidence and prices fall.
Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said the company's IoT@Home Market Study found 26 per cent of all Aussies were considering ways to make their homes smarter and 36 per cent had upgraded their homes during the last year.
Mr Fadaghi said a combination of extra time spent at home, less money spent on outside activities, and the falling price of smart home gadgets delivered a major boom.
"Home technologies have been skyrocketing and it's a trend that's benefited from people being at home and no longer spending their disposable income on travel or other entertainment," he said.
"We're also looking at a market where there's a low entry price to get started and test out some technologies. People aren't as afraid of spending a couple of hundred dollars if a smart camera fits their needs."
Builder and designer to the stars Rob Gray of Graya has been installing new technologies into his clients' homes for years and has now worked with smart tech provider Electronic Living to bring it into his new home in Brisbane.
"I really wanted to achieve a home that was comfortable and enjoyable to live in and the technology on offer these days can really add to the lifestyle and luxury of a home and how you live in it," Mr Gray said.
"I have automatic blinds, surround sound speakers, pop up TVs, my phone is my remote, I open my garage door and front doors and gates all from a phone. I have CCTV footage and I get notifications when sensors pick up a person's body moving at times that are unusual."
Electronic Living founder Damian Cavanagh said there are an average of 17 connected devices in every home in Australia which is expected to grow to 37 devices by 2023, with 'one app to rule them all'.
"You can literally control everything in your home from one very simple to use app," he said.
Mr Fadaghi said gadgets at "the front entrance, with smart doorbells and video cameras" were among the most popular smart upgrades, along with smart locks, connected controls for air conditioners, and smart speakers, including those from Apple, Amazon, and Google.
Amazon Alexa and devices manager Kate Burleigh said the company would normally see a sales spike for Echo devices and smart home products over Christmas but demand was now strong year-round.
She said Amazon often noticed consumers started small, with a modest smart speaker, and later upgraded to a device with a screen and added connected products like lights and switches to make old appliances smart.
"During COVID people discovered they could add light bulbs and use different skills (with Alexa) beyond just asking for the weather," she said.
"Smart switches have been an interesting way for people to start experimenting with smart controls and having control of their appliances. A smart switch has allowed me to take a very good coffee machine and modernise it to be able to control it from afar, for example."
Telsyte predicts the Australian market for smart home gear will more than double from $1.26 billion in 2019 to $4.8 billion by 2024.
Don't miss our new look At Home magazine with your newspaper Saturday or online: At Home.
Originally published as Aussies living through smart home boom