Smartphone, smart TV but we lack the smarts to use them

Media Release, 14 November 2013

Australians are amongst the world leaders in smart technology uptake, spending on average between $1000 and $5000 per household a year but less than a third of people believe they get the most value out of their gadgets according to research released by Telstra today.

The second Telstra Connected Home Index also revealed that 71 per cent of people would like to understand more of the features in their technology and only 13 per cent know how to use all the features.

Telstra Director of Premium Services, Jennifer Douglas, says the idea of a home where all your gadgets easily work together is nirvana for most Aussies with 3 in 5 respondents saying they would like more of their gadgets to connect to each other.

“I think a lot of people still think of it as Minority Report stuff, that it’s all too hard or they might break something, but what they are really doing is essentially wasting money by not getting the most out of their purchase,” Jennifer said.

“Technology is a lot like cooking in some ways, we can’t be bothered or are too scared to try new recipes so we end up cooking the same few meals on rotation and in doing so miss out on some great experiences.

“With technology we’ve never done something before so we just let it be and in doing so miss out on simple but really cool things. Like using your tablet as another remote for your Smart TV or having your smartphone automatically connect to your Wi-Fi when you come home” Jennifer added.

The research comes as Telstra launches Telstra Platinum, a new service aimed at helping Aussies get the most out of their technology and create their own connected home kingdoms.

“We think that the benefits of technology should be available to everyone, not just those with a technology upbringing or a Masters in Computer Science.

“It’s this gadget gap that we think the Telstra Platinum service will help close. It’s home tech support where you have access to a 24/7 support hotline or can choose to have a specially trained Telstra expert come out to your house and connect your home devices for you,” Jennifer said.

Connected Home Index also revealed:

  • Search IT: The number one way Aussies get their tech support is online with one in three Aussies saying they search online for answers to their tech queries followed by asking a friend (20%) and asking their partner (18%).
  • Play to learn: More than half of Australians admit to playing with their latest gadgets to learn more about them while only one in three say they read the manual to learn the ‘how to’.
  • Top gadget gaps: The humble mobile phone is the gadget Aussies believe they are not getting the most out of in their home (41%) followed by laptop, computer, tablet and the Smart TV.
  • Gearing up for gadgets: One in five Aussies are planning on buying a connected device this Christmas with tablets topping the list, followed by a smartphone, Smart TV and Laptop.

Top Tips from the experts:

  • Internet Connection: It might sounds simple but unplugged or loose network cables are one of the most common reasons you might suddenly find yourself unable to connect to the Internet, check everything is switched on and plugged in. If your Internet Connection uses your Phone Line to connect to your Modem, you have an ADSL type service. The cable used to connect the modem to your computer is a different cable, it is known as a ‘network cable’, the cables typically supplied by Telstra are Yellow or Blue or White with Yellow ends. Please ensure the network cable has been used to connect the modem to the computer, not a Phone extension lead typically grey or beige in colour.
  • Broadband basics: Modem names and passwords often confuse customers and make it harder for people to connect their gadgets to their home network. The Name of your Wi-Fi network (known as an SSID) is printed on the back or underside of all Telstra supplied modems. Most devices that connect wirelessly will allow you to pick your Wi-Fi network from a list of Available Networks, your Wi-Fi Network Name (SSID) will be in this list. Click on it, click connect and enter the password located on the back or underside of the Telstra supplied modem. If given the option, select connect automatically. Your device will now connect to your Wi-Fi network whenever it is in range.
  • Smartphone tips: Do you use your smartphone to check emails, surf the net or download apps? If so, you may not be aware that mobile data quotas can be a significantly lower than Home Broadband quotas. Connecting your Smartphone to your Wi-Fi network, means your phone will connect and switch to your Wi-Fi network when in range, saving you Megabytes and Money, whilst ensuring you still get the most from your Smartphone device.

About Telstra Platinum

  • 24 month subscription: The subscription services come at two levels:
  1. $20 per month for 24 months ($480 in total) includes 24x7 phone and online support and access to our experts instore to diagnose and solve technology problems as well as provide personalised coaching. This subscription also includes a Telstra Platinum technician visit to completely set up and activate your connected home.
  2. $15 per month ($360 in total) includes 24x7 phone and online support and access to our experts instore to diagnose and solve technology problems as well as provide personalised coaching.
  • Pay as you go: customers can call the hotline, visit the in store Tech Bar or arrange a Platinum technician to visit their home as required – these prices are discussed with the customers at the time and are based on the work required.

About the research: This Telstra research was conducted online by PureProfile in October 2013 with a representative sample of 1,250 Australians nationwide.