Connected homes, cars starting to take off

Tablets also hit mainstream with about 46 per cent penetration, according to new research

Nineteen per cent of Australian consumers are connecting their smartphones and tablets to other devices in their homes and 16 per cent have in-car connectivity, according to research firm TNS.

The researcher interviewed 55,000 participants in 50 countries – including 1,000 in Australia – for its 'connected consumer' survey. It found that more Australians in future could have connected homes and cars, with 28 per cent interested in connecting their homes and 18 per cent interested in connecting their cars.

Eighteen per cent of Australians are using smart or ‘quantified self’ devices that monitor biometrics, with 17 per cent interested in using this kind of technology in future.

"For example, as soon as you arrive home your phones knows your location and turns on the lights, puts the soft music on, warms the house up or cools it down, unlocks the door and you're ready to go," said TNS Australia’s executive director, Alistair Leathwood.

"Increasingly, there are a number of manufacturers that have not just the ability to play media but also to show almost any of the applications on your phone on a screen on your car dashboard. Then, can you actually start to control functions of your car? Can you start to gather data from your car – whether that's how far you've gone, where you have been, how the engine is running – and make use if it?"

The survey also found tablets have hit mainstream in Australia by achieving about 46 per cent penetration, with smartphones reaching 75 per cent penetration. Smartphones grew 5 per cent from last year, and are in line with laptop penetration.

"I would say [tablets] will be ubiquitous within two years in Australia," Leathwood said.

The survey said the average Australian owns about five devices and spends 3.3 hours online browsing websites, shopping or engaging in leisure activities.

"If Google, Samsung and Sony have their way, we'll all be wearing a smartwatch or glasses soon as well, and that number is going to go up," Leathwood said.

Fun facts

  • In January this year, Google announced its acquisition of thermostat startup Nest for $3.2 billion to connect household systems such as heaters, lights and appliances to the Internet. The idea is to collect more data about people's energy consumption, for example, as well as to help people better control and monitor their energy consumption.

  • In June, Google announced Android Auto, which uses the car's dashboard monitor as an interface for applications such as Maps. Users just connect their Android phones to the car system via USB, and use their applications hands-free through voice recognition technology.

  • In June, Apple announced Home Kit, which will allow users to control their entire home through the iPhone or iPad. It will be used for closing/opening/locking doors, including garage doors, and switching on/off lights, for example.

  • In March, Apple announced CarPlay, which will allow users to plug their iPhones into a car system to control the car's navigation and radio. Users will also be able to make hands-free calls and texts through Siri.

Here's an interesting video that looks at the connected home and car.

Read more: Where is the Internet of Things heading in 2014?

Tags connected devicesTNSInternet of Things (IoT)Internet of Thingsin-car technology

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