LG TV 8K - CES 2019
5G | Tech and Innovation |

Smart, stylish and state of the art – the latest tech to deck out your home

By Campbell Simpson January 18, 2019

There’s no place like home, especially if it’s a smart home and CES 2019 proved that almost everything can and will be connected in our pads of the future. Some won’t break the bank either!

Viewing pleasure

The TVs of the very near future are getting bigger, have ultra-high resolution, respond to your voice commands and can even roll away out of sight!

Most of us have heard of 4K – the current pinnacle of display resolution. Well, now 8K is coming, doubling the number of horizontal pixels and creating another evolutionary leap in image quality. Considering a standard 4K movie is an estimated 100 gigabytes, you can only imagine how big an 8K movie will be to stream or download, which of course will require a fast connection.

More TVs, at all price points, are also including support for connected voice assistants, like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple Homepod, allowing you to change channels and search for content just by talking. Great for when you can’t find the remote!

We flagged this in an earlier blog but it’s worth another look. Who would’ve thought – a TV that actually rolls away out of sight when you’re not using it. LG made a huge splash with their first rollable TV, which is expected to hit the market later this year. They even use these new versions to create an amazing TV tunnel.

Our not-so-humble homes

Our humble home appliances and fixtures keep getting smarter, even the toilet.

A number of big name brands unveiled updated connected fridges, washing machines and ovens. Fridges can now write to-do lists, which can then be shared to all of your family’s devices, check the contents of your fridge remotely and ask for cooking tips. Your phone will even get a ping if you’ve left the door open. Many now come with voice assistant support for when your hands are full of dirty laundry or dishes.

Meantime, Kohler unveiled a voice-enabled throne at CES 2019. Using Amazon Alexa, you can tell it to raise or warm the lid and play music. Most importantly, you can tell if to flush afterwards.

Smart shade

Even Ikea got in on the act at CES 2019, unveiling a series of low-cost smart blinds which allow you to raise or lower them using your home voice assistant, smartphone or provided remote control.

Now, if only they could find a way to make their flatpacks build themselves.

Immersive gaming

Our PCs continue to keep powering up to handle the size and complexity of the latest games, and new accessories are hitting the market to create even more immersive experience.

Audeze will soon release its motion-aware headphones for first-person shooter fans. They detect and recreate the movements of your head. For example, you’ll be able to peek around a corner just by moving your head.

More “reality” is being added to virtual reality games too, with Cybershoes showing off shoes that allow to walk yourself through the virtual world.

Just imagine all of these things in one home. It’s a lot of connected tech and, as we continue to add more things to our home networks, fast and reliable connections will be a must.

Virtual Reality unplugged – how 5G will unleash VR
5G | Tech and Innovation |

Virtual Reality unplugged – how 5G will unleash VR

By Campbell Simpson January 16, 2019

As predicted, two symbols were the talk of CES this year – 5G.

At the biggest consumer technology show in the world, we announced Telstra customers will soon get exclusive access to 5G commercial devices thanks to a series of partnerships with some of the world’s biggest brands.

We also got our first look at some of the inaugural phones and devices that will be powered by this revolutionary mobile technology.

Samsung had a prototype smartphone on display, safely behind a glass case.

And Netgear, which powers our Telstra Netgear Nighthawk M1, unveiled its 5G hotspot.

5G will power so much more than phones and internet hotspots though. One of the other uses is Virtual Reality (VR), with nearly 400 VR exhibitors on show at CES 2019.

Cutting the cord

High-endd VR headsets have had to be connected via cables to a computer, until now.

The Oculus Quest is a wireless all-in-one gaming headset, allowing players to enjoy their game anywhere.

From a tech-spec perspective, it’s not as powerful as its brother, the Oculus Rift, but cutting the cable is considered a major step in releasing VR into the mainstream.

Going wireless of course requires a wireless connection and, as games continue to increase in size, complexity and resolution, fast speeds and low latency will be a must.

VR in the back seat

This would definitely keep the kids entertained on those long road trips.

Audi, Disney and startup Holoride have teamed up to develop an in-car VR game. From the back seat of the moving car, you help Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy shoot asteroids and drones.

The VR experience is intended to visually match what the passengers feel as they ride – e.g. the VR environment will mirror any turns, acceleration or brakes the car makes.

Smart specs

Google had an unsuccessful crack at this a few years ago, but smart glasses could be making a comeback with Vuzix now taking orders for its Blade AR glasses.

It projects a semi-transparent and rectangular screen on one of the lenses to mirror phone notifications and run apps. In the future, these types of glasses could enable facial recognition, send live feeds from their inbuilt cameras or run 3D simulation apps.

All of these types of applications will require the speed, capacity and low latency 5G will deliver.

Bell Air Taxi - CES2019
5G | Tech and Innovation |

CES 2019: What you could soon be driving, riding, even flying

By Campbell Simpson January 14, 2019

How we get around will very soon fundamentally change in a number of ways, and we’re not just talking on the road – it’s in the air and the water too. Your home and work are also set for further shake-ups as robotics technology continues to advance.

Last week in CES, the world’s biggest consumer technology show, the vehicles and robots of the future were unveiled.

They all had different purposes but one thing was the same in all of them – they were connected and 5G will play a major part in powering these new technologies at scale.

Riding into a connected, electric future

When the iconic Hog goes electric, you know it’s a road revolution.

At CES 2019, Harley-Davidson announced it has started taking pre-orders for the LiveWire, its all-electric motorcycle.

The bike will go from 0 to nearly 100 km/h in around 3.5 seconds, with 100 percent of the motor torque available instantly. Unlike regular motorbikes, there’s no clutch or gear shifting – it’s just twist and go – and the famous Harley road roar has been replaced by more of a “zoom” sound.

It also comes with a host of connected features and an app, giving you the ability to check your battery charge remotely and get an alert if someone’s tampering with your ride.

Flying taxis: closer than you might think

You couldn’t miss Bell Air Taxi’s hybrid-electric flying car at CES. Using six tilting ducted fans, it’s designed to take off and land vertically from a rooftop or launch pad.

Initially capable of carrying four passengers and a pilot, the plan is to eventually make them autonomous (self-driving).

The military aircraft manufacturer has partnered with Uber and plans to roll out these air taxis to cities by the “mid-2020s.”

Never leave home, even on the road

When it comes to the cars of the future, dashboards could be replaced by mega touch screens and remain connected to your home, even when you’re out and about.

We’ve all probably been in this situation: you get home and you’re hungry only to find you’re out of bread or that key ingredient. Samsung’s connected car concept at CES allows to you to check what you have at home via their smart fridge so you know whether you need to stop at the shops on the way home.

Meantime, Chinese EV start-up Byton has unveiled an electric car full of screens, including a huge 49-inch screen that spans the entire width of the windshield.

That’s just one of five touch screens, that can show maps, car telematics and entertainment, when in autonomous driving mode of course.

Smart boats making waves

A yacht launched at CES for the first time this year.

The 78-foot Adonis concept by Furrion comes with its own “virtual concierge” voice and facial recognition system, called Angel. As well as allowing you to control the vessel’s lights, blinds, media and climate, she can even deliver an order to the kitchen (because you’ll have your own chef on board, of course!), including reminding them of any dietary restrictions you may have.

Angel is so intuitive, she can even monitor your weight and skin moisture levels (time to hydrate, cool down and swim off some calories).

Robots providing assistance and comfort

There were more than 344 robotics exhibitors this year as a future where robot assistants are common continually comes closer to reality.

This year, they were showcasing assistants that lift, bake, shop, dance, play ping pong, and even help cure loneliness.

Lovot has developed what’s been described as an advanced Furby (remember those) with fur, wheels and flippers as well as sensors that detect touch, thermal cameras, and an impressive range of animated emotions.

LG also showed off concepts specifically developed for use at hotels, airports and supermarkets which deliver food and refreshments, carry luggage and help shoppers find products.

Of course, there was also no shortage of fun and cute robots that dance and do tricks, which have been around for a while but continue to advance and evolve.

5G | Tech and Innovation |

The weird, wacky and wonderful tech of CES 2019

By Campbell Simpson January 11, 2019

At CES in Las Vegas every year, we always see a glimpse of the latest and greatest tech that will one day end up in our pockets and in our homes. There’s also some less conventional, more niche gadgets on show – and sometimes those are the most interesting ones!

CES 2019 is full of bleeding-edge tech for your home, your office and your backpack or purse. Some of it is for a very specific purpose, maybe too specific – think pet feeders with facial recognition, belts that measure your waistline, and beds that customise their firmness for your sleeping pattern each night.

Most of the buzz around CES 2019 was about 5G – and this is the year where the talk becomes reality. We’ve got 5G up and running in all major Australian cities, our first 5G device unveiled and exclusive 5G device partnerships on the way, and we’re excited to share more with you soon. But enough about 5G – let’s look at some of CES’s more unconventional products on show.

Your smart home is getting even smarter, and stylish

It was definitely the kitchen and living room that seemed to be getting the most digital attention at this year’s CES. Samsung’s latest Family Hub fridge has a touchscreen tablet built into the door to look up recipes, share notes with family and even order groceries, and KitchenAid had a Google-connected smart display on show that can survive splashes from your exploding banana smoothie. If we had a favourite, though, it would be LG’s 4K OLED TV that rolls up out of the way when it’s not in use.

The other technological innovation that caught our attention – although it doesn’t look particularly high-tech – was Mui, which the gadget’s makers call a ‘Calm Design Device’ but we call a Wi-Fi connected block of wood. Hidden behind that block of wood is a screen that can display the weather, control your speakers or air conditioner, or respond to questions through Google.


The stand-out ‘smart’ home gadget from CES for us this year was the Foldimate, a device that looks like an oversized photocopier. It doesn’t print and collate your documents, though – it folds your shirts and undies. By all accounts it was a bit of a crumpled disaster last year, but the proof is in the video below.

Robots are getting even more helpful

Every man and his robotic dog had some kind of smart electronic assistant on display at CES 2019, each with a different purpose. Many robot manufacturers are touting the power of their machines’ artificial intelligence, and personal care was high on the agenda. Samsung’s Bot Care can take your vital signs and even dispense medication at the right time of day. The Bot Air looks like a garbage bin, but it’s actually a trundling air purifier.

Another robot with an even more therapeutic bent was the Lovot Groove X – just ignore the name – made to forge an emotional connection and “heal your heart” with friendly affectations. It might look like a Furby on steroids, but there’s plenty of studies to show that robots like this can become a genuine friend to those in need.


Robotics also includes autonomous vehicles, using their own cloud-connected smarts and sensors to navigate around our cities and suburbs. Or, as the case may be, around our skies – check out Bell Labs’ Nexus electric air taxi, which boasts nearly 250km of range and a top speed of nearly 250 kilometres per hour.

And, of course, there’s just the straight-up wacky tech of CES, robots and more. Feast your eyes on some of the weirdest gadgets we’ve ever seen on display below, as well as a few 5G prototypes and connected tech from our partners:


5G | Network | T22 |

How you can get first access to 5G devices

By Andrew Penn January 10, 2019

I am in Las Vegas for CES, the biggest consumer electronics show in the world, to ensure we are at the forefront of the latest tech for our customers.

5G is a major focus this year and the amount of connected gear on display here is proof our big 5G network rollout and testing is going to deliver major benefits to our customers.

2019 is when the 5G revolution becomes very real and I am excited to announce our customers will soon be at the forefront of 5G device technology, including exclusive access to 5G commercial devices, thanks to a series of partnerships with some of the world’s biggest brands.

Under the partnerships, the devices will be available exclusively through Telstra before any other Australian mobile operator when they are released in the first half of 2019.

Watch this space. These smartphones and devices are coming soon and we will provide further details closer to their release. Once on the market, these 5G-enabled devices will connect to Australia’s first 5G-ready network – our customers’ first opportunity to experience this revolutionary technology.

We are also continuing to hold discussions with other providers and I look forward to providing even more good news for our customers in the near future.

I am also pleased to report we have delivered on our commitment to roll out 200 5G enabled mobile sites across the nation by the end of last year. In fact we did even better, with 207 sites now online, including in every major city and some regional centres.

Telstra has been a world leader in the testing and development of 5G. We continue to work closely with numerous global manufacturing and industry partners to make this revolutionary technology real-world ready and these strategic relationships are now paying off directly for our customers.