Australia’s big broadband ‘app-ortunity’

By September 2nd, 2013

Industry experts award A$65,000 in prizes to the nation’s most innovative app ideas.

Alarms which send you mobile alerts warning of smoke detected in your house and tele-health systems which help to measure home-based breathing exercises for patients suffering from chronic disease are just some of the potential applications available over next generation broadband networks, according to a new report released today by the Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation (ACBI).

Informed by range of expert industry perspectives on how future services will be offered in health, education, energy, business and media, the ‘App-trepreneur’s Guide to Broadband Connected Services’, outlines opportunities for the development of new broadband-enabled applications.

“The ‘app-ortunity’ for innovation really is endless from here.”

Colin Griffith, Director of ACBI

“We are on the dawn of a new ‘App Age’, where next generation broadband networks will allow us to better manage our home energy use, support the elderly living independently at home as well as providing us with more personalised entertainment content by connecting people in their homes with services enabled by sensors and cloud computing,” said Colin Griffith, Director of ACBI.

“With predictions that by 2020 the average person will own six smart devices connecting us to over 37 billion ‘things’, from cows in the field, to our car, to our washing machine, it’s clear that a better broadband infrastructure will revolutionise the way we access services in the home.”[1]

In April this year, ACBI in conjunction with its industry partners Intel, iiNet, Foxtel, Pottinger, NSW Trade and Investment, NBN Co, CSIRO and NICTA announced the Apps4Broadband competition for developers to create new ideas for applications which run over next generation broadband networks. The ‘App-trepreneur’s Guide to Broadband Connected Services’ report also highlights case studies of winners from the competition as examples of these future services.

“The Apps4Broadband competition was designed to help Australians better understand what is possible through the smart use of broadband as well as accelerate the ability of Australian developers to realise new business opportunities by connecting with service providers, technology partners and end users to build game-changing apps,” said Mr Griffith.

“We’ve had a great response from developers who have come up with some really interesting and new ways for people to access health, energy, education, retail, security, entertainment and many more services. The diversity of these ideas not only demonstrates the tangible benefits of broadband to the public but also suggests that we have only scratched the surface in identifying future business models and services which leverage our national broadband infrastructure. The ‘app-ortunity’ for innovation really is endless from here,” he said.

The winners of the Apps4Broadband competition include:

  • TutorBee: A platform that allows tutors to give interactive lessons to students in their homes.
    • Winner of Best App sponsored by NSW Trade and Investment,
    • Winner Best Business-to-Business App sponsored by Pottinger and
    • Joint Winner of Best Health, Education and Social Services App sponsored by Intel.
  • Pepster: A home based breathing exercise app and device for Cystic Fibrosis patients.
    • Joint winner of Best Health, Education and Social Services App sponsored by Intel.
  • Pass the Popcorn: a second screen app for synchronising watching on-demand television and chatting with friends.
    • Winner of Best Media and Entertainment App sponsored by Foxtel.
  • The Bop Smoke Alarm: A smoke detector and app for managing alerts, false alarms and the need to replace batteries.
    • Joint winner of Best Smart Appliances, Security and Energy App sponsored by iiNet.
  • Senograph: A sensor management platform and prototype sensor for home air quality and detection of carbon monoxide.
    • Joint winner of best smart appliances, security and energy app sponsored by iiNet.

For more information on the future trends in broadband applications and for a full list of winners from the Apps4Broadband competition, download ACBI’s ‘App-trepreneur’s Guide to Broadband Connected Services’ by visiting

Media resources

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The Future of Apps
The Director of ACBI, Colin Griffith, talks about the future of apps.


We’re seeing a massive growth in the supply of apps and the use of apps and we think that will grow. So these will be, sort of, everyday activities that you’re using these apps to manage your energy, your health and well-being, being able to manage a whole variety of, sort of, activities around the home, but more importantly, being able to bring services into the home in new ways.

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Next Generation Apps
Colin Griffith talks about next generation apps.


Local households will be able to download apps from their local energy providers to minimise their energy use.  We’re seeing also these apps being used to connect to local social services, and increasingly their local feneral practitioner or health worker.  So there’s a number of opportunities for local households, and we probably haven’t even thought of half of those opportunities yet.

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Video: The App Journey

Report: Broadband Connected Homes