Home Industry Development Brace yourself for a new 'app age'
CSIRO chief Megan Clark CSIRO chief Megan Clark Featured

Australia is on the verge of an 'app age', with a pocket smoke alarm and a mobile telehealth app just some of the ideas awarded by the Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation today.

Winners for the Apps4Broadband competition, co-hosted by the Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation, CSIRO, National ICT Australia (NICTA), Intel, iiNet, Foxtel, Pottinger NSW Trade and Investment and NBN Co were announced today, including a second screen app for synchronising watching on-demand television and chatting with friends, and a new online platform for tutors.

“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.”

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

CSIRO also launched its ‘App-trepreneur’s Guide to Broadband Connected Services’, which it said was informed by range of expert industry perspectives on how future services will be offered in health, education, energy, business and media. The report outlines opportunities for the development of new broadband-enabled applications.

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


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David Swan

David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun.