The wired home is no longer the realm of dreams. But, neither is it totally real. It has simply taken too long to come, and has still come to too few homes, seemingly beyond the reach of most.
All that may be about to quickly change, according to CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation. In fact, the future looks ‘appy’ for Aussie broadband-connected homes, according to the nation’s premier research group.
In a new report, called the Broadband Connected Homes, ACBI says we are on to the next generation of broadband-enabled apps that will be more about connecting households with things likes sensors and cloud services, and not merely those to check emails and social media.
Smart to smarter
“When considering over 3.5 million Australians now use a 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,” said ACBI Director Colin Griffith.
“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,” he added.
So, what are these apps going to be?
Some will create new ways for people to access health, energy, education, retail, security, entertainment and many more services.
Some will allow people to access, discover, share and contribute to personalized media content. “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,” said Griffith.
In a bid to give a jump-start to its vision of a connected home, the ACBI announced a $50,000 Broadband4Apps competition. Entrants will need 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 in the following categories: Smart appliances, security and energy; media and entertainment; and health, education and social services.
“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 Griffith.
ACBI will also host two hack days – one in Sydney on May 11 and the other in Melbourne on May 18 – to offer entrants the opportunity to share their ideas with peers and receive mentoring from key professionals at CSIRO, Intel, NBN Co. and NICTA, among others. Click here for more details about the ACBI Broadband4Apps competition and hack days.
The competition runs for a two-month period from 16 April to 15 June. The winners are to be named in July.