From smartphones to smart homes: O2 launches subscription connected home service

 
Lynsey Barber
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O2 is going from smartphones to smart homes with the launch of a new service that will let users operate their heating and lighting from their mobile.

O2 Home will also offer connected plugs to control any device, cameras, intruder alarms and more all controlled via an app from whereever you are and which can react to your return home using GPS technology.

The mobile operator is the first in the UK to get into the much-hyped connected home space, which is expected to be worth £150bn by 2020, and comes from a tie-up with AT&T in the US where it has already attracted millions of customers.

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“O2 Home is all about connecting our customers to the people and things that matter. Keeping your home up to date with technology shouldn’t be complicated – so we’ve brought together connectivity and smart technology in a simple package to give customers peace of mind wherever they are," said O2 marketing and consumer director Nina Bibby.

The service will be a challenger to British Gas's Hive home heating device, which also includes plug controls, however, O2's differs with a subscription service rather than a one off payment.

It also has a bigger range of nearly 20 supported devices, including a Samsung camera and motion sensors, ranging from £10 for a key fob to £130 for the camera if bought separately to the subscription.

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The service starts from £20 a month and includes a smart hub, presence sensors, open and close sensors used for doors and two smart plugs.

It is also highlighting that O2 will take car of the installation, after research found that while nearly three quarters are interested in using smart technology in hte home, just five per cent are planning to install it this year. The survey by O2 found the biggest factors holding back adoption were price and installation.

An earlier study by PwC found consumers had greater trust in energy firms and tech or telecoms firms than high street retailers when purchasing smart home devices.

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