Year 2020 - transparent tablets, and cars that drive themselves

Media Release, 04 February 2013

Telstra has revealed a vision for Australia’s future complete with internet connected specs, tablets that roll up like a newspaper and fridges that message you when you have run out of milk.

Telstra’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr Hugh Bradlow said immersive technology is set to be a regular part of our day.

“This will be a world where each device in the home, car and environment talks to each other. Imagine your smart fridge automatically generating a shopping list which is filled by your local supermarket and delivered to your door, or hopping into your self-driving car that determines the quickest route to work, finds you a car park and parks your car simply via voice control,” Dr Bradlow said.

Electronic communication has increased five-fold in the past decade. Currently there are 50 million connections between people and devices in Australia. By 2020, there will be 240 million and by 2030, 1 trillion.¹

“In 2020 we will be living in a digital economy where our connected devices will have intuitive user interfaces, near-field technology and sensors that drive smart bodies, smart homes, smart transport and smart environment,” Dr Bradlow said.

“Telstra is planning for a future where computer chips and internet access will be in everything from your oven to your car - each will talk to each other allowing people to do their washing, cleaning and cooking while at work, playing with the kids in the park or having coffee with friends.”

Roy Morgan data has found that eBay is now Australia’s largest shopping mall with 7.3 million Australians 14 years and over visiting eBay in an average four week period, compared to 5.2 million who shop at Westfield shopping centers nationally in the same timeframe.²

“Smart phones have changed the way we browse, research and shop and that is set to continue. Real-time morphing technology will allow consumers to try on a ‘virtual’ pair of jeans in a shop window simply by using an app connected to the window display or try on a pair of ‘virtual’ shoes seen in an online magazine,” said Dr Bradlow.

Australia leads the Asia Pacific in cloud adoption with forty-three percent of Australian businesses adopting cloud computing in 2012.³

“In this world, there will be an app for everything and with more systems connected to the cloud businesses, specialists and technology will work seamlessly. Waiting rooms will be non-existent as doctors will be able to, ‘virtually’ reach through the screen during a video call to assess a patient’s heart rate and blood pressure - they could even run brain scans while sitting in their clinics on the other side of the world.

“The digital economy has taken off and the next wave of change promises to be even more disruptive – the good news is Australia is well positioned to ride the wave.”

City and service apps will allow people to shop and explore a city remotely

See Australia’s connected future (Dur: 3 mins):



Other elements of Telstra’s 2020 vision:
2020 Cities:

  • City and service apps will allow people to shop and explore a city remotely
  • Intelligent transport systems will enable city infrastructure such as public transport, traffic authorities, emergency services and all cars to talk to each other, making the city work safer and more efficient.
  • Cloud connected cars and emergency vehicles with auto sensing and geo-mapping technology which can drive themselves will lead to less traffic congestion and safer roads 

2020 Housing:

  • Personal concierge apps will allow people to manage daily chores– putting on a load of washing while in the office or buying groceries from a shopping list created by your fridge
  • Internet connected security for the home will allow home owners to monitor security, pets and visiting trades people when they are at work or on holidays
  • Home entertainment systems will be controlled by voice, hand or eye movement
  • Near Field Communication (NFC) will be built into more mobile devices meaning smartphones will become electronic wallets, electronic door keys and allow you to control and monitor your appliances and utilities on the go

2020 Environment:

  • Energy management solutions will allow individuals to manage and track their energy consumption
  • Cloud based operating systems will connect industries with infrastructure such as ports, rail and roads, waterways, power and telecommunications, leading to greater efficiencies and lower environmental impact

2020 Health:

  • The end of waiting rooms – doctor’s appointments via your computer where everything from your heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and brain scans can be accessed, assessed and shared virtually

¹ Telstra Communications, July 2012
² Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2012- December 2012 (n=21,275).
³ Frost and Sullivan, December 2012 (cited in “Smart Everything – Australia’s Digital Future” by Dr Hugh Bradlow)