Sophie Ryan is online editor for the Business Herald

Smarter homes for tech adopters

In New Zealand, smart home technology is mainly used by early adopters, but with Apple's move into the home automation market it's expected to take off within the next five years. Photo / Bloomberg
In New Zealand, smart home technology is mainly used by early adopters, but with Apple's move into the home automation market it's expected to take off within the next five years. Photo / Bloomberg

Houses are becoming smarter as more people embrace the growing trend of home automation.

People in the market for new appliances like heat pumps, washing machines, fridges and cookers will find that new models are increasingly supporting a WiFi connection and can be controlled through apps on smartphones and tablets.

From turning on the heat pump before you arrive home, to ensuring the washing can be done and ready to be hung outside when convenient, the "Internet of Things" is making people's lives easier.

In August last year Spark released Morepork, and became the first telco to create a home security model that allowed customers to remotely monitor their homes with sensors and cameras.

The starter kit costs $498 with plans starting from $29.95 per month.

New player in the home security market SwannOne combines security features and is compatible with other devices.

John Whittaker, product manager for CDB Media, said SwannOne has been left open so different devices can talk to each other on the platform.

"You don't want multiple apps on your device controlling different things within your house."

SwannOne recently launched in New Zealand, and has caught on with tech enthusiasts.

"At this moment in time it tends to be early adopters... we believe its less than five years before this [technology] is everywhere."

Apple has entered the home automation market with its HomeKit, which allows multiple smart devices to communicate through Apple TV. The platform relies on manufacturers to add the HomeKit feature to their appliances.

"Once those big players like Apple get involved it really starts to move," Whittaker said.

Home security systems like SwannOne are popular among young people living alone.

"Another use for it we've found about is for people who have an elderly parent they want to monitor... You can ensure they're getting up in the morning and keep an eye on them," Whittaker said.

Watch this commercial from SwannOne explaining its use:

Video

- NZ Herald

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