The future looks ‘appy’ for Aussie broadband connected homes

By April 16th, 2013

Up to A$50,000 in prize money on offer to create the next generation of broadband-enabled apps.

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.

“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 multiple sensors and new business services.”

Colin Griffith, Director, ACBI

The ‘Broadband Connected Homes’ report describes the changing environment of Australian 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[1] and app downloads are predicted to rise above 40 billion globally in 2013[2], it’s very clear our love affair with apps has come a long way in a 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 multiple sensors and new business services,” said Colin Griffith, Director of CSIRO’s 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, made available by sponsors Foxtel, iiNet, and NSW Govt, 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 Australian homes.

“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.

For more details on the ACBI Broadband4Apps competition and hack days please visit Apps4Broadband Competition .

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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 general 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: Smart Homes in the Digital Age

Report: Broadband Connected Homes