Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Australian Transport Future at AusRAIL 2012 in Canberra

Greetings from the National Convention Centre in Canberra where the Australian Railway conference "AusRAIL 2012" is on today. The conference exhibition has spilled out of the exhibition hall into the foyer and upper levels. Heavy engineering companies from around the world are alongside Australian logistics and ICT. The exhibition is free and open to industry, academia and government until 3pm today. The next conference is November 2013 in Sydney.

IBM Intelligent Operations Center Demonstration
One exhibit which sparked my interest were IBM, with Doug Stapleton showing their "IBM Intelligent Operations Centre for Smarter Cities". IBM are partnering with management technology company SMS. Greg Halliday from SMS was showing various Sydney transport monitoring applications brought together on one screen for better co-ordination. I asked if they had a video to show to my ICT Sustainability students.

inReach is a 2 way satellite communicator
Dion Castle from PivoTel was showing  pocket size satellite terminals. The inReach is a 2 way satellite communicator is a solid looking almost cubic device which can be worn on a belt. It has no display and just a few buttons. On its own it can be used to send out a regular message to allow the wearer to be tracks and has an SOS button. But the device also has a Bluetooth interface allowing text messages to be received and sent from a smart phone.

At a time when the emphasis is on higher and higher speed broadband communications, it is important to keep in mind that much can be done with very low bandwidth high latency communications. This is important when you are outside the coverage of urban communications networks, or when those networks fail, especially in an emergency.

No comments: