Sunday, February 03, 2019

Making the Internet of Things Practical and Useful

Newcastle IoT Coverage.
Image from
City of Newcastle.
Recently I was in Newcastle, just north of Sydney, on holiday. I was surprised to find down the end of the street Core Electronics, not only selling devices for the Internet of Things (IoT), but also running hands on workshops for the public. The company founder, Graham Mitchell, was out, but the next day I bumped into him at the nearby Fernleigh Cafe,  frequented by cyclists on the Fernleigh Track.

Core sell hardware for, and give workshops on,
Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN). This is the technology  the City of Newcastle is rolling out to help motorists find parking spaces, integrating transport, manage parks, and detect full bins. With a low cost network many other applications are possible, such as local sense of environmental conditions and pollution.

While much is made of ultra high speed 5G wireless,  that will require billions of dollars to install hundreds of thousands of base stations, and most Internet of Things (IoT) applications don't need high speed data. The LoRaWAN adopts a low speed, low cost DiY approach.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Blue Mountains Hotel Run by Australian University Students

Last night I stayed at the Waldorf Leura Gardens Resort Hotel in the Blue Mountains near Sydney. I selected this as the closest to the Everglades Historic House and Gardens. This was to attend the Leura Shakespeare Festival adapted and directed by Damien Ryan. After arriving I noticed that the hotel is staffed by students of the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) of Torrens University. The students are on holidays, so there were professionals staffing the hotel this weekend.

My last stay at a university hotel school was the Hotel Samudra, a training hotel of the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (SLITHM). Like the former hotel school at the Hotel Kurragong in Canberra (where I ran some events in the 1990s), Samudra caters to a small number of guests and has classrooms in the building.

The Waldorf Leura is very different, being an existing hotel which caters to the general public, with academic facilities located across the road in a separate facility. Apart from the signs mentioning Torrens University, you would not know this was associated with a university.

The Waldorf Leura grounds include the gardens created by Lady Mabel Fairfax and her gardener Hector Hood worked on this garden from the 1920s. Perhaps these could be used for outdoor theatrical performances, like those n Cambridge.

ps: Thanks to the Leura Newsagency for a wire coat-hanger to temporarily fix a dangling car tail-pipe.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Online program to help Australian Businesses With China Market

The China Canvas Challenge is a free online training program to help Australian business enter the China market. It is being run over the next few weeks by the Sydney business incubator Haymarket HQ, with support from the Australian Government. The format is similar to startup competitions such as Innovation ACT, except it is entirely online. First prize is a business trip to China. Other prizes are an hour with Jason Yat-Sen Li, Vantage Group Australia CEO, Terry Hilsberg, Venture Partner Innohub Capital, and a $100 Book Set.