Two Sense-T Projects are off to the National Iawards!

Sense-T won a prestigious iAward, in the Community Services category for the AirRater smartphone app, and a commendation in the Public Sector and Government category for its Tourist Tracking Project.

Sense-T will now go on to represent Tasmania in these two categories at the pinnacle event in the iAwards calendar, the National iAwards to be held on 1 September 2016.

Last night the Australian Information Industry Association (AIAA) iAwards were held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart where more than 250 of Tasmania's leading digital innovators gathered to recognise and celebrate innovation in the digital economy.

The Sense-T AirRater smartphone app received the Community Services iAward in recognition of its use of data to help Tasmanians breathe easier and improve their quality of life.

Sense-T AirRater Project Team
Sense-T AirRater Project Team

Professor Brigid Heywood Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of Tasmania said: "Winning an iAward is significant recognition of how Sense-T is now creating genuine economic, social and environmental impact for Tasmania through more than twenty current industry led research projects across 10 different industries."

AirRater aims to tackle a pervasive public health issue in Tasmania, where over 11 per cent of the community have asthma. High rates of hay fever and other lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are also present.

Since October 2015, more than 1000 Tasmanians have signed up to use the app. The Project is a strong demonstration of how the federation of data can be used to improve individual and public health outcomes and create real impact within the community.

By alerting Tasmanians to adverse air quality in their location, including elevated levels of smoke, pollen and heat, this smartphone app is helping those with asthma and hay fever to change their behaviour or commence preventive medication and thereby prevent or reduce exacerbations of their symptoms.

AirRater Project Lead, Dr Fay Johnston from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania said this Project is a clear example of the value and opportunity of a multi-disciplinary approach to solving problems.

"I don't think any single person or disciplinary field could have done this. Ideas were sparking between our team members from all kinds of backgrounds; health, environment, ecology, big data management, software design and information technology," Dr Johnston said.

This Sense-T Project is a collaboration between the University of Tasmania's Menzies Institute for Medical Research, Medical School, School of Biological Sciences and Sense-T. In addition, the team includes experts from the Tasmanian Environment Protection Agency, CSIRO and the Australian National University.

The Sense-T Tourism Tracking Project received a commendation in the Public Sector and Government iAward category and will now represent Tasmania at the National Iawards in September. It has created an innovative smartphone app in response to an identified need from Tasmanian Government and industry.

Sense-T Tourist Tracking Project Team
Sense-T Tourist Tracking Project Team

Led by the University of Tasmania's Dr Anne Hardy and Professor Richard Eccleston, the Project is the largest of its type in the world, both spatially and temporally, and is one of the most innovative and extensive research projects ever conducted into tourist travel.

Using smartphones and a dedicated analytical app, the Project has gathered unprecedented insights into where groups of visitors go, how they move around, and what influences their decisions. For the first time, we have the ability to track how travel patterns differ according to age, home country, length of stay, reason for travel etc. We can see detailed information on how long someone stands at a lookout, walks through a national park or browses an art gallery.

Dr Anne Hardy said the data collected is helping to guide government marketing and investment decisions in the rapidly expanding tourism sector that will ultimately improve the visitor experience in Tasmania.

"For example, the findings from this data will lead to government being able to provide infrastructure targeted to the needs and safety of tourists and to government and tourism operators providing tailored information and services for tourists.

"The provision of enhanced infrastructure is likely to have flow-on effects for the Tasmanian visitor experience, which will in turn flow on to the creation of jobs in Tasmania's regional economy," Dr Hardy said.

Tasmanian ICT company Ionata are a key partner and the creators behind the technology for this innovative Project. This Project was conceived and designed in partnership with the Tasmanian Government (Tourism Tasmania), the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania and Federal Group plus a wide range of industry stakeholders were consulted as part of the initial design stage. Academic collaboration includes Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Queensland.

The AIIA National Iawards will be held on 1 September 2016 in Melbourne.

Published on: 24 Jun 2016