Sensing & monitoring
The ACMA's latest research report, Sensing and monitoring—recent developments (Word or pdf), explores the developments in information
and communications technology that support the
collection, connection and analysis of data through
sensing and monitoring.
What is sensing and monitoring?
Sensors are parts of machines that gather data
and have an important role in the processing and
transport of data. Monitoring is a process that
observes a state in time or tracks changes in data
sets to derive information.
How does sensing and monitoring affect me?
- Sensing and monitoring is surprisingly
involved in many aspects of your daily
- Everyday considerations like food, health,
power production and consumption, the physical
environment and human interactions are
monitored using information collected, stored
and analysed through digital communications
- Technology developments in sensing and
monitoring in these areas continue to drive
process efficiencies, improvements in data
quality and increased relevance of the derived
Sensing and monitoring in
- Sensor networks play an important role in
minimising the risk of hazardous or poor
quality food products.
- Sensors are used to track, trace and
monitor products by employing transducers that
measure immediate environmental aspects—such
as light, heat, moisture, location and
time that are important to the quality
management of perishable food.
- An example of a sensing and monitoring
process can be seen with live produce—from
the primary producer to the dinner table.
Australia uses the National Livestock
Identification System (NLIS) to identify and
trace livestock such as cattle and sheep. The
NLIS tracks and identifies animals through
their lifecycle, for bio-security, meat safety
and market access. This assists with disease
management. The system relies on radiofrequency
identification tags that are attached to the
animal's ear or inserted under the skin.
NLIS wireless sensor network
& Livestock Australia)
- Smartphones continue to develop interactive
capabilities using a range of sensors embedded
and integrated into the device.
- Proximity sensors, GPS, accelerometers,
gyroscopes, digital compasses, light sensors,
temperature sensors, improved touch sensors and
audio sensors are in the technological mix that
developers are using to create innovative
- Noticed that smartphone camera technology
is improving? That's because of the use of
gyroscopes in smartphone apps, which make them spatially aware. This is particularly
useful for stabilisation of photographic
sensors to improve related digital imaging
- The ACMA views sensing and monitoring
technologies as smart technologies that will
have a potentially significant impact on how
information-based services are developed for
use by consumers.
- Data ownership, data privacy and choice are
relevant consumer issues.
- The ACMA continues to monitor developments
in sensing and monitoring and welcomes comments
on this report.
Last updated: 17 December 2012