Tag Archives: app

CSIRO energise banner

CSIRO Energise app to map Australian energy usage

Users of the CSIRO Energise app (available on Google Play and on the Apple App Store) share their energy costs and usage patterns through a range of ‘micro-surveys’, which will be used by the CSIRO to understand changing energy demands. The data will be shared with consumers, government and industry and could lead to improvements in the Australian energy network.

The app is a key component of CSIRO’s Energy Use Data Model project, which is collating and centralising various streams of energy data. “It’s designed to help us understand the changing world of energy”, explains Project Leader Dr Adam Berry. “Over the past years, we’ve seen huge changes in the energy sector, such as an increased uptake of renewables. This app aims to find out what this means for the average consumer.”

The micro-surveys cover topics such as household characteristics, power costs, energy-usage patterns, appliances and uptake of renewables, such as solar PV. CSIRO Energise has been designed as a two-way communication channel, so users will receive insights including tips for improving household energy efficiency and cutting-edge research updates as the energy data is analysed.

Dr Berry says that there is a current lack of data on how Australian households interact with energy. “We need to get better at forecasting energy demand if we want to create a more reliable and cheaper energy system. The app will help answer the big energy questions, such as who is paying the most for electricity and what’s driving peak demand.”

CSIRO Energise is the first of its kind. Unlike paper surveys, the app is able to follow users’ responses over time. It can ask questions in response to specific events, such as how heating is used on cold days, improving our understanding and management of peak energy consumption. “It’s the first time we’ve had the opportunity for longitudinal, long-term data collection”, says Dr Berry.

Dr Berry believes that this data collection platform will benefit researchers, government, industry and consumers.  “The results of the data analysis will be shared publicly and the plan is to work with industry and other bodies. This will be really valuable for the residential sector and will go a long way to lowering energy bills. It could also help certain sectors, such as city councils, find out how effective their energy policies are.”

Dr Berry is working hard to spread the word about CSIRO Energise to maximise the number of engaged users. “I genuinely believe that this will help us build an understanding of what modern energy use looks like across Australia.”

“That understanding is critical for developing the right research to deliver the most value possible to real Australian households.”

CSIRO Energise is available for download for free on Google Play and on the Apple App Store.

Source: CSIRO

Smart ASD detection tool

Smart ASD detection tool

An estimated one in 50 children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Research from La Trobe University’s Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC) shows that the majority of these children are not diagnosed until they are four years old, more than two years after they can be reliably diagnosed and receive life-changing intervention.

The technique underlying ASDetect has been used over the past decade by hundreds of maternal and child health nurses in Australia, as well as early childhood professionals around the world. It has proven to be more than seven times more accurate than the next best tool in the early identification of autism.

Salesforce developed the ASDetect app on a pro bono basis as part of the company’s 1-1-1 integrated philanthropy model, where the company donates 1% of its employee’s time, its products and its equity to support the not-for-profit sector. A team of Salesforce engineers, designers and developers volunteered their time to build the app on the Salesforce platform.

The app uses questions drawn from breakthrough research by La Trobe’s Dr Josephine Barbaro. It gives parents access to video footage from actual clinical assessments and clearly demonstrates the context and expected key behaviours of children at each age.

“ASDetect is an empowering tool for parents who may feel their children are developing differently than expected and are looking for answers. The new ASDetect app is an ideal way to share proven techniques with thousands of parents,” says Barbaro.

Through a series of videos and questions, ASDetect guides parents through the identification of potential “red flag” signs of ASD. These “red flags” can be raised when young children repeatedly do not:

  • make consistent eye contact;
  • share smiles;
  • show their toys to others;
  • play social games;
  • point to indicate interest;
  • respond when their name is called.
Smart ASD Detection Tool
Screenshot of ASDetect app being used by Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre.

“All typically developing infants are motivated to be social, look at other people’s faces, learn from them and copy. Children with ASD are not doing this – and we can now accurately identify this at a much younger age and take action, with the help of parents,” says Barbaro.

The app combines Barbaro’s assessment questions with videos demonstrating the ‘red flag’ behaviours critical in determining the likelihood of ASD in children as young as 12 months. Parents view two videos: one showing a child with ASD, the other showing a typically developing child. Parents then answer questions regarding their own child. The information entered by the parents is automatically sent to OTARC’s database, which also runs on the Salesforce platform, where analysis of individual results is completed. Parents are then sent information via a notification through the app, with advice as to whether they should seek professional help. As ASD can emerge over time, ASDetect includes assessments for children aged 12, 18 and 24 months.

“This is not a replacement for professional assessment; however ASDetect will provide parents with an indication as to whether they should seek a professional opinion from a doctor at a time when intervention will have the biggest impact,” says Barbaro.

Dan Bognar, Senior Vice President, Salesforce APAC says: “The ASDetect app is a great example of leveraging the power of the Salesforce platform to improve the capabilities of health providers and treatment for individuals. Being able to deploy on a global scale means that organisations like OTARC can make a significant impact on society.”

“The development of ASDetect highlights our ethos of giving back as well as our commitment to improving the local communities we operate in. It has been incredibly rewarding for everyone involved, and we look forward to seeing the results of this important initiative,” says Bognar.

Watch ASDetect in action:

This information was first shared in a press release by La Trobe University on 14 February 2016. Read the press release here

Feral cat holds rabbit in its mouth

Feral cats mapped with new app: FeralCatScan

Feral cats are in the spotlight with the release of a feral cat mapping and reporting app called FeralCatScan which was officially launched today at Melbourne Zoo as part of the Threatened Species Summit.

The app was developed by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre with funding support from the Australian Government Department of the Environment.

Peter West, project officer for development of the app, said, “The purpose of FeralCatScan is to provide the community and land managers with a tool for real-time reporting of feral cats, any management activities undertaken, photo’s of impacts and, most importantly, using that collective information to identify practical solutions to the feral cat problem.”

“Feral cats are a nation-wide issue needing collective community effort to manage. We are never going to eradicate cats, but we can reduce the impacts on wildlife by ensuring management is done efficiently, effectively and humanely in areas where feral cats are having the most impact on wildlife.”

“Anyone can use the app or website to record feral cat activity and it is really easy to use. If you have seen a feral cat lately then I encourage you to record it in FeralCatScan,” he said.

Hand holds phone bearing screen with the FeralCatScan app displayed
FeralCatScan is available for both iOS and Android devices

The app is also able to be used in the field where mobile reception may be unreliable by storing feral cat records until mobile coverage is available.

Andrew Triggs, Acting Manager of Planning and Adaptive Management with the South Australian Government on Kangaroo Island, has been trialling the app as a feral cat management, planning and reporting tool.

“On Kangaroo Island it has been found that feral cats eat a total of 50 different bird, mammal, reptile and frog species. They also spread diseases to livestock and wildlife. The impact on a small island like this can be substantial and we’re looking at a raft of practical and policy measures to manage the impacts.”

“This app will help us in a practical way to strategically identify feral cat hotspots on the island and more efficiently and effectively plan management activities to protect wildlife and agriculture.”

The app is part of the FeralScan suite of app products and is free to download on the App Store for Apple iOS and Google Play for Android mobile devices. See details at www.feralcatscan.org.au.

This release was first published on http://www.invasiveanimals.com/ on Thursday 16 July 2015.