ACT News


Smart technology making everyday life a little easier for Canberrans

"Hey Google, turn on the coffee machine." This is one of the first things Canberrans Greg and Beth Peck say when they wake up. 

The pair from Gungahlin have embraced smart home technology.

The Pecks transformed their home in November last year after initially looking for extra security. 

"We wanted to put something into the house for security because of the hours we worked, Greg leaves early in the morning and I sometimes get home late," Mrs Peck said.

"So when we went to the store, the fella told us about Google Home and all the things you could do with it - so we went in with some questions about security for the house and walked out with a whole bunch of Google Home kit." 

The Pecks connected smart plugs to the thermostat so during winter when they are out they are able to turn on the heating and have the house warm when they arrive home. They said they were also able to check on what "mischief" their cats were up to.


"We set the sensor on low, so the cats don't constantly trigger it, but if they're on the kitchen bench we'll know."

Telstra area general manager ACT Chris Taylor said smart technology had helped Australians make "their day-to-day lives run a little smoother".

"We see smart homes are able to benefit people of all ages and demographics and even people with disabilities," Mr Taylor said.

"People with accessibility issues, perhaps are wheelchair bound can could turn on lights and appliances by voice activation, making life easier.

More than 40 per cent of Australian households have at least one smart home device connected, according to Telstra..

The Pecks have four cameras, at the front and back door and in two living rooms, all accessible through their phones and other electronic devices, so they can see what's going on when they're not there. 

The couple's devices are linked by Telstra Smart Home technology, which also allows people to detect leaks and be notified when smoke alarm batteries are running low.

Mr Peck said he could ask the smart devices to turn on the coffee machine, turn on lights or ask for the time, all while lying in bed. They have a Google Home speaker in the living room and a smaller one in the bedroom. 

Mr Peck demonstrated how to turn on and off devices, including the television, but the smart technology struggled to hear some requests over other noises, as well as taking time to process requests.

"There are some glitches and there's going to be that sort of thing in all fairness," Mr Peck said.

"I think it's about the peace of mind knowing that if we're not home and are expecting a parcel or we're away and put the "away mode" on and receive a notification we can just check the cameras to see what's happening."