The future looks ‘appy’ for Aussie broadband connected homes

You’ve heard of the Ice Age but have you heard of the ‘App Age’? A new report compiled by CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation (ACBI) has revealed the next generation of broadband-enabled applications will be more about connecting households to new sensors and cloud services than checking emails and social media invites.

The ‘Broadband Connected Homes’ report describes the changing environment of the Australia’s homes, the technologies that are affecting it, and its capacity to support new applications and services.

“When considering over 3.5 million Australians now a use smart device to access the internet and that app downloads are predicted to rise above 40 billion globally in 2013, it’s very clear our love affair with apps has come a long way in few short years. We are now looking at the next era of development by experimenting with what our homes will look like when broadband-enabled apps connect data with multiples sensors and new business services,” said Colin Griffith, Director of ACBI.

“These apps will provide new ways for people to access health, energy, education, retail, security, entertainment and many more services. They will allow people to access, discover, share and contribute to media content personalised for us. Broadband apps will also allow us to do old things in new ways such as managing our home energy use through a centralised communications hub as well as enabling non-invasive monitoring and support systems which allow elderly people to live independently in their own homes,” he said.

In conjunction with the release of the report, ACBI is also opening entries for a new Broadband4Apps competition to provide developers with the opportunity to build and demonstrate applications that are enabled by next generation broadband services. With up to $50,000 available in prize money, entrants will be invited to develop prototypes or working applications that address emerging opportunities for delivering services into broadband connected homes.

The competition will be open to individuals and companies that can demonstrate a consumer facing software application which uses the distinctive features of next generation broadband services in Australia’s home.

“The competition will help Australians better understand what is possible through the smart use of broadband. It will also help accelerate the ability of Australian developers to realise these new business opportunities and connect with service providers, technology partners and end users to build game-changing apps,” said Mr Griffith.

ACBI will be hosting two hack days (one in Sydney on 11th May and one in Melbourne on 18th May) to offer entrants the opportunity to workshop their ideas with peers and be mentored by key professionals in the industry including CSIRO, Intel, NBN Co and NICTA.

About ACBI:

The Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation (ACBI) is a national research initiative connecting people to the benefits of broadband through innovative services. It is led by CSIRO in conjunction with National ICT Australia (NICTA), NBN Co with funding support from the NSW and Tasmanian Governments.

ACBI provides unique opportunities to create innovative broadband-enabled services demonstrate their use in real world situations and evaluate their potential commercial and social value. ACBI connects people and business to the benefits of game-changing services and applications enabled by next generation broadband technologies.

About CSIRO:

CSIRO is Australia’s national science agency and has been pushing the edge of what’s possible for more than 85 years. Today, the organisation has close to 6,500 people working out of 58 centres in Australia and internationally. These people work closely with industry and communities to leave a lasting legacy across five broad areas: food, health and life science industries; energy; environment; information and communications; and manufacturing, materials and minerals. ACBI is part of CSIRO’s Digital Productivity and Services Flagship that is a $40 million research initiative to improve Australia’s productivity, deliver innovative services that improve people’s wellbeing and prosperity.

About the Broadband Connected Homes report:

Commissioned by ACBI, the report is designed to help businesses, government agencies and software developers better understand the potential to design new applications and services that can be used in homes that are being connected to next generation broadband services such as the National Broadband Network (NBN).

It describes the changing environment of the broadband connected home, the technologies that are affecting it, and its capacity to support new applications and services. This includes the new capabilities and features of NBN and home networks, the increasing range of connected devices being used in the home, and some of the development platforms for applications. It is the ability to leverage all these different aspects of a connected home that will enable successful new applications and services.



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