Growth in sensing and monitoring information driving change in services | ACMA

Growth in sensing and monitoring information driving change in services

ACMA media release 89/2011 – 1 September

Information harvesting through sensing and monitoring is increasingly pervasive in many aspects of day-to-day life and is being used to drive changes in life-supporting sectors. Sensing and monitoring is used in areas such as; food, health, energy, environment, entertainment and social engagement, according to an Australian Communications and Media Authority report released today.

Sensing and Monitoring - recent developments explores changes in information and communications technology that support the collection, connection and analysis of data through sensing and monitoring. This data in turn is being used to drive changes in production and distribution processes and the reach of services in the Australian economy.

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. Together, sensing and monitoring provide the mechanism for the harvesting of digital data.

The report focuses on the underlying technology capabilities that support the harvesting of information through sensing and monitoring. It examines the use of sensing and monitoring developments across particular industry sectors of the digital economy, and looks at some potential implications of digital capabilities for users.

It also suggests that while the information revolution can potentially empower both organisations and individuals, it is also creating a pervasive environment that is increasingly less private, shrouded in technology, and raising questions about ownership and use of gathered information. Securing information, however, is crucial as sensor data becomes more prevalent across a range of sectors within the economy.

A key finding is that consumer experience will continue to drive many aspects of sensing and monitoring in providing information to people. For example, the smartphone, as a source of data, has emerged as a device that meets the consumer-centric expectation by providing a rich human interface experience and the ability to acquire and sense information in a personalised environment.

The smartphone provides not only the data input and information output but, in some instances, the application platform as well. This can be challenging to providers as functional trade-offs are made between the machine and human interface.

The ACMA regulates many aspects of device compliance, spectrum use, radio interference and numbering related to existing services and continues this role with the emerging machine-to-machine communications environment. It continues to monitor the developments in sensing and monitoring and welcomes comments on this report.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or

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The ACMA is Australia's regulator for broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and telecommunications. The ACMA's strategic intent is to make communications and media work in Australia's public interest. For more information:

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Last updated: 27 September 2013