Tech and Innovation |

Telstra Innovation Challenge winners 2019

By Luke Hopewell June 17, 2019

The 2019 Telstra Innovation Challenge (TIC) winners are here, and their ideas are sure to move you (and all the stuff you care about).

This year’s TIC centred around designing innovative and inventive solutions for the problems faced by the transport and logistics industry, with a specific focus on harnessing the power of the Internet of Things (IoT).

IoT refers to the connectivity of everyday objects to make them more efficient. Think of a connected vending machine that can tell its owner when stocks of a particular thing are getting low, so refill operations are more efficient, or a connected network of bicycles available to rent via a smartphone app.

For the transport and logistics industry, IoT represents a thrilling new opportunity. With a mature IoT deployment, a logistics company could step into a world of big data, where deliveries, infrastructure and plant equipment are tracked and managed more efficiently than ever.

Together with Linfox as our industry partner, we challenged teams to solve some of the most interesting issues facing the industry. Teams could choose what specific areas to focus on, which could range from improving the field staff and operational experience to developing brand new services for the industry.

Teams participating in the challenge were provided with an Arduino Mkr NB 1500 Development Board, which is compatible with both Microsoft Azure and Telstra’s Narrowband IoT Network. Teams were challenged to use the CAT-M1 and Narrowband-IoT networks to design and prototype a real-world application for the industry. These IoT networks cover over three million square kilometres of Australia and cater for use cases where devices only need to be sending relatively small amounts of data relatively infrequently.

Several teams participated in the challenge, but three teams came out on top. Here’s what they came up with.

Mapping the road ahead

Public Stream Winners – Team Fullstack

Team Fullstack proposed a driver health and wellbeing monitor to minimise and eliminate workplace incidents.

Team Fullstack’s idea is built to interlock with several systems around the world where legislation has been implemented to protect truck drivers from fatigue and other health-related incidents.

The Australian Government’s National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, for example, requires solo drivers to rest for at least 15 minutes for every 5 ¼ hours of work time, with the amount of rest time scaling up based on the amount of time worked. The European Union and US Department of Transport have similar legislation, all designed to reduce the number of fatigue-related crashes and deaths.

By utilising non-intrusive heart rate monitoring and ambient alcohol detection, Team Fullstack’s platform would incentivise and gamify wellness to reward drivers for making healthy decisions. Consistent drivers could be incentivised with gift cards of other bonuses for their healthy results.

For their idea, Team Fullstack won $6000. Congratulations, team!

Are you sitting comfortably?

University Stream Winner – Couldn’t Chair Less

When the Apple Watch debuted with an emphasis on standing for one minute during 12 different hours of the day, CEO Tim Cook called sitting “the new cancer”. In the same vein, the World Health Organisation claims that physical inactivity is the “fourth-leading risk factor” for global mortality. Meanwhile, a collation of almost 50 different studies into inactivity found that the sitting and related inactivity carries with it an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

So with that in mind, how do you ensure the health of an industry where one of the primary functions involves sitting down for extended periods of time? Truck drivers are the backbone of the transport industry (and potentially the whole economy), but who takes care of their backbones? University Stream Team Couldn’t Chair Less did for this year’s TIC.

Couldn’t Chair Less proposed a solution whereby truck drivers would have their health and posture data tracked as part of a wellness platform called Linlife. Furthermore, Couldn’t Chair Less proposed a sensor called the LinSit Pro, which would collect long-term pressure data to suggest tailored stretches and exercises for drivers based on data collected.

For their efforts, Team Couldn’t Chair Less also walk away with $6000. Good job!

Track and trace technology turns turbo

Creativity Award Winner – Sky Ledge

Blockchain is already something the logistics industry is experimenting with, but the results have largely yielded a system that drives efficiencies for companies and not their customers. Sky Ledge’s idea would see the blockchain put to work to help customers, as well as logistics companies, track their shipments.

The system would put the immutable power of the blockchain to work to power an in-depth look at freight as it travels. Rather than a simple message about your parcel simply being in transit, Sky Ledge would allow customers to track the ‘health’ of their freight.

Insights like the temperature, vibration and real-time location of a shipment would be available to a customer with the new system, and alerts would be sent if a specific variable is out of an acceptable range. That way you can be sure that your perishable items, for example, would be safe from point A to point B.

Sky Ledge wins the Creativity Award, and $1000. Bravo!

Congratulations to this year’s TIC winners. We look forward to seeing your ideas flourish to help keep the world moving.

The Telstra Innovation Challenge is back, with a focus on supply and logistical IoT
Tech and Innovation | Telstra News |

The Telstra Innovation Challenge is back

By Nikos Katinakis March 14, 2019

The Telstra Innovation Challenge is back, this time to bring new, innovative IoT ideas to the Transport and Logistics industry.

Each year, we run the Telstra Innovation Challenge (TIC) to bring out the innovative, inventive and technical potential of the members of the Australian public and universities. This year, we are focusing this collective talent towards Internet of Things (IoT) for the transport and logistics industry.

Participating teams will be given the opportunity to express their creative talent and technical skills by designing and prototyping a real world application utilising Telstra’s CAT-M1 and Narrowband-IoT networks. These IoT networks cover over three million square kilometres of Australia and cater for use cases where devices only need to be sending relatively small amounts of data relatively infrequently.

Together with Linfox as our industry partner, we’re challenging teams to solve some of the most interesting issues facing the transport and logistics industry. Teams can choose what specific areas they focus on, which could range from improving the field staff and operational experience, to developing brand new services for the industry.

Teams participating in the challenge will be provided with a development board, the easy to use Arduino Mkr NB 1500. Compatible with Microsoft Azure and Telstra’s Narrowband IoT Network, this device provides participants with a fantastic platform to prototype and develop new IoT solutions for the industry that keeps Australia moving.

The TIC has two streams of participants: one for university teams and one for the general public. Registrations are now open but will close soon – head over to the Telstra Innovation Challenge website for more details.

The finalists for both streams will pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges on 1 June 2019 at Telstra Labs in Melbourne and be in the running for a range of great prizes.

We look forward to seeing all of your fantastic submissions.

2018 Telstra Innovation Challenge winners: tech solutions for a healthier tomorrow
IoT | Tech and Innovation |

2018 Telstra Innovation Challenge winners: tech solutions for a healthier tomorrow

By Håkan Eriksson May 29, 2018

Together with our industry partner Bupa, we challenged teams from across Australia to build Internet of Things (IoT) technology solutions for some of the most interesting challenges in the health and wellness industry.

Wearable devices and diagnostic systems dominated the field at this year’s Telstra Innovation Challenge as teams showed how IoT technologies could be used to improve the lives of patients and assist those who work in the healthcare industry in providing the best care.

The teams across both Challenge streams worked hard designing, building and coding hardware devices that leveraged our Cat M1 IoT network capability and Bupa’s insights as a leader in the health and wellness industry.

Congratulations to our winners!

Our 2018 Telstra Innovation Challenge winners

Public Stream Winner – Lynxx

“Sitting is the new smoking” – Ergorithm is a wearable device that strives to promote a desirable posture for its users. The team produced a belt using the Cat M1 board and a sensor, which can be calibrated based on the specific user, to monitor the user’s lower back posture and give real time feedback (i.e. alert if bad posture). In the future the design could be extended to also cover neck posture.

University Stream Winner – Team Laika (RMIT)

The Me-MG, a wearable EMG biofeedback unit, empowers users to exercise during home based rehabilitation by giving them real time feedback on their level of muscle activation and movement extension through a number of on-body lights and a display screen. One light will indicate the degree of flex in the knee and the other the muscle activation; together they will be an accurate measure of how well the patient is performing the exercise. The device must be calibrated to the individual by their physio based on custom thresholds that can be updated remotely over our dashboard. The dashboard is accessible to both the patients and the physios, and is a platform where they can access the muscle activity and flex data directly, review analytics, data tends, and set themselves or their patient’s goal for their rehabilitation over all.

Innovation Winner – Health is Wealth

A Point of Care (PoC) diagnostic system to detect presence and severity of Xerostomia (a.k.a Dry Mouth condition). One of the sensors measures the salivary flow rate implanted or by the way of removable prosthetics inserted in the mouth by a dentist. The other custom-built sensor measures volatile organic compounds (gases) coming out of the mouth. These sensors are connected to the IoT development board and the data from these sensors will be analysed using machine learning to improve the quality of condition detection.

The 2018 Telstra Innovation Challenge finalist pitching awards event was held at Telstra Labs in Melbourne on 26 May.

Thanks to all of our sponsors who helped us deliver another great event in 2018.

Gold sponsors: Cisco, Ericsson, Telstra Health and Microsoft
Silver sponsors: Intel, muru-D, Qualcomm, Tekt Industries and Little Bird Electronics

Tech and Innovation |

Innovation Challenge highlights regional tech investment

By Robyn Denholm March 28, 2017

We are investing now to deliver the kind of technology that can transform the lives of people living in regional communities over the next 20 years.

Investment in faster networks, drones, precision agriculture, e-health and robotics is driving Telstra’s innovation agenda for regional Australia that has been detailed in a White Paper into ‘Regional Australia’s Technology Future’.

The White Paper highlights the world of opportunities that new technologies can bring to regional and rural communities across Australia, and how we are working with industry partners across the country and around the world to bring them to life.

We want regional communities to see what is possible, and to be part of our innovation journey through programs such as the Telstra Innovation Challenge.

For the first time, the Innovation Challenge will focus on Australian agriculture.

This year teams are being challenged to design, hack and code an innovative internet of things (IoT) prototype solution for one of the many challenges that confront Aussie farmers.

The solution may involve providing an environmental benefit for farmers, improving operational efficiency by automating and simplifying manual tasks, or using IoT technology to create farms of the future.

The Innovation Challenge, supported by Landmark, has two streams – one for university teams and one for members of the public. Simply put, we want Australia’s best students and our best tech minds to innovate for our farmers.

More than 50 teams have entered the university stream of the Innovation Challenge.

It is great to see so many universities engaged in a program that provides a forum for our next generation of tech and innovation leaders to develop their skills and highlights the importance of STEM studies in our future economy.

Each year the Innovation Challenge shows what is possible when we bring great ideas to life on the Telstra network.

It is why investing in our mobile footprint, including the development of 5G technology, is a core element of our innovation agenda for regional Australia.

We understand connectivity is vital to regional, rural and remote communities, which is why we have consistently weighted network investments towards extending coverage.

Over the past 10 years, 15 per cent of our investment in our mobile network has gone to provide services to the most remote two per cent of the population.

We know more work needs to be done to make sure our customers have a consistently great experience, which is why over the next five years we will invest $350 million in new technology and regional base stations, up to $240 million to continue our work on the first two rounds of the successful Mobile Black Spot Programme, and a further $100-$200 million set aside for new regional co-investments.

So whether it’s mobile networks that are larger and faster, high-tech agriculture that makes farms more profitable, e-health solutions that bring world-class care to regional communities, or decentralised energy networks to make communities more independent – technology has the potential to create huge opportunities for families and businesses in regional Australia.

To view the ‘Regional Australia’s Technology Future’ White paper, log on to

For all the details about the Telstra Innovation Challenge, log on to