5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Sponsored by Barangaroo. Innovation is undoubtedly at the core of business success. Discover why some of Australia’s leading brands are locating themselves in one of the worlds most advanced and sustainable business precincts.
The end is nigh…. Photo: Pokemon/ IMDb.

1. The Internet of Things kicked off in Sydney in a big way today. A collaboration between local IoT integrator startup Meshed and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) means there’s now a public access open data network that’s free for everyone to use within a 5km radius of uni’s Ultimo campus.

The low power, long range wide area network (LPWAN) is based on Amsterdam’s “The Things Network” project. It’s designed to support low power (battery/solar), long range smart sensor devices and will allow anyone within range to connect their device to the internet for free, without needing traditional wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi or bluetooth.

Dr Stuart White from UTS’s Institute of Sustainable Futures sees it as a great opportunity to measure the health of the city and things like energy and water use.

“This project has enormous scope for the future. There’ll be the opportunity for new innovation, new technology, new startups,” he said.

Read all about it here.

2. Ninten-going down. It came, it conquered, it drove up Nintendo’s share price, but already the halo effect from Pokémon GO is fading for investors in the Japanese games company, with its share price down 7.9% to 29,260 Yen on the Tokyo Exchange this morning. It still has a way to go, having initially doubled in value since Pokémon GO’s July 6 launch to $US42 billion.

Meanwhile, David Glance, director of University of Western Australia’s Centre for Software Practice has been crunching the numbers on the game and reckons it’s already on the downward spiral, pointing out that there’s an established pattern for all games and Candy Crush still has users who spend more time playing it than Pokémon Go.

His essay on the restoration of the world’s nature order is here.

3. An energy industry disruptor listed on the ASX today. BidEnergy (ASX:BID) RTO of Cove Resources puts it on the market with a $7 million kitty from the float. The CEO is former Climate Change Authority chair Stuart Allinson, and their pitch is using data to analyse energy use for companies, then getting Australia’s 20 energy retailers to bid on supplying the businesses via an automated process. Read more about what they’re up to here.

4. A WA pipeline surveyor turned property baron is now a tech entrepreneur. After he got sick of the boxes of receipts and spreadsheets for his investment portfolio, Brenton Tidow decided to build an app to manage it, selling one of his properties to pay for it.

Tidow’s solution is Abakus an app for iPhone and Android on a $5.99 monthly subscription, which tells you how you’re tracking on the portfolio and keeps all the receipts in the cloud for tax time. And it just goes to show anyone with a good idea can become a tech entrepreneur too, although Widow is still busy with his day job, which starts at 5am as he heads out to help lay pipeline for LNG and other projects. The details on his app are here.

5. Embrace the political chaos, says BlueChilli’s boss. Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, who spoke to BI’s Sarah Kimmorley from San Francisco, says he normally avoids talking about politics because of his military background, but while some are throwing their hands up in the air about a senate with Derryn Hinch, Pauline Hanson and bunch of other independents threatening to make life tough for the Turnbull government, he thinks tech startups thrive under the circumstances.

“It’s a very exciting time to be in Australia because for once we have bi-partisan support on [tech and innovation] that is really going to change the national language and dialogue and move our country forward, and that’s what is important,” he said.

And Eckersley-Maslin has an important message for anyone relying to heavily on the political side of business.

“That fact that we have chaos and turmoil in government is not good. It’s always better to have a stable political climate. But I think any startup or tech company that needs the government to survive is doing it wrong,” he said

The full interview is here.

Have a great day. I’m on Twitter at @simonthomsen

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