Australia’s peak Internet of Things (IoT) industry body, IoT Alliance Australia (IoTAA), and Telstra, Optus and others have funded a COVID-19 discussion hub that examines the industry’s response to the crisis.

The site, published by IoT Hub, will publish articles and videos looking at how IoT companies are supporting clients during the coming months. Technology providers will also discuss how IoT could help the nation become more resilient.

Other sponsors include IoTAA members Entech Electronics, Honesty Box, Inmarsat, KPMG, Meshed, Reekoh, Successful Endeavours and the University of Wollongong Smart Infrastructure Facility.

These organisations and IoTAA leaders will contribute commentary and insights about the crisis.

Speaking in an interview for the hub, IoTAA CEO Frank Zeichner said that COVID-19 has exposed the need for an overhaul in Australia’s approach to collecting, sharing and using real-time data.

“How will organisations manage and monitor remotely what before took people before to do?” Zeichner asks.

“The technology pretty much exists. But the actual connecting of the fabric of our companies and our nation to share it and collect it together is what’s needed.”

Across the world, organisations are pushing the use of data and IoT for everything from measuring the number of people in public places, to forecasting supply and demand of face masks and automatically detecting skin temperature in industrial environments.

Concerns are being raised about the privacy implications of using technology to track the spread of the virus and to monitor the public’s compliance with isolation rules. The Federal Government will reportedly soon release a mobile app that will alert users if they’ve been in contact with a COVID-19 infected person. 

“Building trust through transparency, safeguards and judicious sharing of data for understood purposes is key for the success of such applications,” Zeichner says.

The discussion hub’s sponsors will give their views on these and other issues as the crisis continues.