For the first time the annual ACOMM Australian Communications awards, announced on 21 July, included an IoT award – the IoT Innovator award, and it was won by NetComm Wireless for its smart home gateway. Runners up were Cisco for its Asset Management for Sites tool, and Telstra for its IoT Challenge, staged in November 2015.
NetComm Wireless’s smart home gateway, the NTC-70, is claimed to be “a world first IoT device designed to transform the future of energy management by lowering household emissions and sustaining energy efficiency through the connection and remote management of energy meters, sensors, heat pumps and home automation devices in real-time.” It is being used by Hitachi to support its development of ICT infrastructure for the Smart Community Demonstration Project in Manchester, UK.
According to NetComm Wireless, “The NTC-70 supports the collection of large amounts of data from residential homes and businesses through a centralised management system and is engineered to enable power aggregation functions that can remotely control consumers’ energy measurement equipment while also supporting electrical power demand adjustments and analysis.”
Hitachi was one of four Japanese companies in a consortium headed by Japan’s New Energy Development Organisation (NEDO) selected for the project in May 2013. The NetComm Wireless product was chosen for the smart gateway role in May 2015.
The project aims to demonstrate the usability and efficiency of load-balancing aggregation technology and systems for residential heat pumps across several hundred social housing units. It got underway in earnest in May this year with the installation of equipment in about 400 homes. A June 2016 presentation on the project can be found here.
And a gong for NetComm Wireless CEO
NetComm Wireless CEO and managing director, David Stewart was named Communications Ambassador 2016 in the ACOMM awards, presented by Communications Alliance and Communications Day, “for his significant and valuable contribution to the Australian communications industry with the presentation of the Communications Ambassador 2016 award.”
Announcing the award, Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said Stewart was “somebody who has overseen some of the strongest product and technology innovation in Australia and … for a period of three decades, a very consistent, strong innovator and contributor to the health of our sector and the creation of jobs in the industry.”
Stewart founded modem manufacturer Banksia Technologies in the early 1990s. Banksia merged with and took control of ASX listed rival, NetComm, in 1998 and Stewart has headed the company ever since.