Bionic eyes, gigabit Wi-Fi and the NBN

The National Broadband Network's connection speeds of 100 megabits per second and more are essential for new health and education applications, according to Dr Terry Percival, director of NICTA's Neville Roach Laboratory.

The National Broadband Network's connection speeds of 100 megabits per second and more are essential for new health and education applications, according to Dr Terry Percival, director of NICTA's Neville Roach Laboratory.

In his view, high-resolution video-conferencing and emerging technologies like video search will transform society.

Years ago, Percival was part of the CSIRO team that developed the core technologies that led to Wi-Fi. Now his laboratory is exploring new applications for broadband. In an interview recorded at NICTA's annual Techfest technology showcase, he tells Patch Monday why NBN speeds are vital, and how the NBN could renew regional Australia.

Video is the killer technology for the NBN, Percival says. It could even signal the end of our centuries-long association with the written word.

Patch Monday also looks at a few of the dozens of technologies on display at Techfest, including gigabit Wi-Fi chips that could appear in consumer products for Christmas 2012, a new approach to the bionic eye, trustworthy embedded systems, and high-precision power measuring tools built into the "world's coolest" power outlet.

To leave an audio comment on the program, Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.

Running time: 44 minutes, 33 seconds

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