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A new study has shown a vision for Australia’s future involving internet connected specs, tablets that roll up like a newspaper and fridges that message you when you have run out of milk.

The study came from Telstra, whose Chief Technology Officer Dr Hugh Bradlow said immersive technology is set to be a regular part of our day.

“This will be a world where each device in the home, car and environment talks to each other. Imagine your smart fridge automatically generating a shopping list which is filled by your local supermarket and delivered to your door, or hopping into your self-driving car that determines the quickest route to work, finds you a car park and parks your car simply via voice control,” Dr Bradlow said.

Electronic communication has increased five-fold in the past decade. Currently there are 50 million connections between people and devices in Australia. By 2020, there will be 240 million and by 2030, 1 trillion.

“In 2020 we will be living in a digital economy where our connected devices will have intuitive user interfaces, near-field technology and sensors that drive smart bodies, smart homes, smart transport and smart environment,” Dr Bradlow said.

“Telstra is planning for a future where computer chips and internet access will be in everything from your oven to your car - each will talk to each other allowing people to do their washing, cleaning and cooking while at work, playing with the kids in the park or having coffee with friends.”

Roy Morgan data has found that eBay is now Australia’s largest shopping mall with 7.3 million Australians 14 years and over visiting eBay in an average four week period, compared to 5.2 million who shop at Westfield shopping centers nationally in the same timeframe.

“Smartphones have changed the way we browse, research and shop and that is set to continue. Real-time morphing technology will allow consumers to try on a ‘virtual’ pair of jeans in a shop window simply by using an app connected to the window display or try on a pair of ‘virtual’ shoes seen in an online magazine,” said Dr Bradlow.

Australia leads the Asia Pacific in cloud adoption with forty-three percent of Australian businesses adopting cloud computing in 2012.

“In this world, there will be an app for everything and with more systems connected to the cloud businesses, specialists and technology will work seamlessly. Waiting rooms will be non-existent as doctors will be able to, ‘virtually’ reach through the screen during a video call to assess a patient’s heart rate and blood pressure - they could even run brain scans while sitting in their clinics on the other side of the world.

“The digital economy has taken off and the next wave of change promises to be even more disruptive – the good news is Australia is well positioned to ride the wave.”

A YouTube clip of 'Australia's connected future' can be viewed below.


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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. He also writes for Junkee and Fasterlouder. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan