Connected Aussies outpacing US

11_Connected Aussies outpacing US

Trevor Chappell
(Australian Associated Press)

Australians are networking their homes at twice the rate of Americans and will be eager adopters of the much-anticipated “internet of things”, Telstra’s technology chief says.

Telstra chief technical officer Vish Nandlall says US homes had an average of four devices connected to the internet in 2014, a rate well below tech-hungry Aussies.

“When you look what’s happening within Telstra and our domestic network, you’re seeing a lot more connected devices than you see in the US. We’re seeing on average eight connected devices,” Mr Nandlall said on Wednesday.

Those devices aren’t terribly sexy – comprising PCs, smartphones and set-top boxes – but Mr Nandlall says the connection rate is an indicator of things to come.

“There’s now an adoption from a behaviour perspective, that consumers will have more connected devices in their household that they might have had not even two or four years ago,” he said in an address to the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia in Melbourne.

Mr Nandlall said the “internet of things” was still in its early days and it will be some time before consumers are ordering food from the supermarket via their fridge or shopping for ties via the washing machine.

The internet of things is the label given to the network of objects, devices, vehicles and buildings that are expected to one day be connected to the internet to collect and exchange data.

Mr Nandlall said it is going to be hard to create a network enabling everything to talk to everything else and to process the massive amount of data involved.

Security would be challenging and, currently, it was “horrible”, he said, noting he had been able to hack into his father’s internet-connected television in Florida and turn it on and off while his parents were watching it.

“Security in IoT is harder actually quite a lot harder than security in the real world that you and I live in today,” he said.

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