Home » Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning, hope your Thursday is going well so far. Let’s catch up on a few bits of tech news.


1. TikTok sets 1-hour screen time for kids

Have you ever used TikTok for such a long time that you felt like your brain was going to melt and leak out of your ears? Well TikTok now has a plan (albeit certainly not foolproof) to prevent teens and children using the app from endlessly scrolling. In the next few weeks, all users under 18 years old will receive a 60-minute screen time limit automatically set by the app that can only be unlocked with a passcode. Meanwhile, a fast-tracked, vague Bill granting the U.S. government the ability to impose a nationwide TikTok ban moved a step closer toward legality after passing a vote in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

2. $2M in grants for young STEM

Australian Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic has announced the awarding of 22 community engagement grants for young people totalling just shy of $2 million. Husic explained the Maker Projects – community science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) engagement grants – aim to foster creativity and inquiry-based learning for young people. “We need to think ahead about what will create jobs in our economy, backing young talent here is an important part in that,” he said. The 22 grant recipients include Murdoch University’s WA Robotics Playoffs program and STEMTECH career expo in partnership with Curtin University.

3. Swinburne and Thales to develop future air travel ideas

Swinburne University of Technology’s Aerostructures Innovation Research Hub (AIR Hub) and Thales Australia have announced a partnership that will explore the development of a range of new ‘air mobility’ concepts. The pair said they’ll focus on things like Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) to support regional cargo delivery and critical infrastructure inspections, Urban Air Mobility (such as Electrical Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft) and urban vertiports. It comes as Ausie company AMSL Aero announces furthering its partnership with critical care aeromedical retrieval service CareFlight to “refine and test” the aeromedical fit-out of Vertiia, the (claimed) world’s longest range and most efficient zero-emissions aVTOL aircraft.

4. Finally, a My Health Record app

Both InnovationAus and the ABC are reporting that Aussies will soon get their hands on a My Health Record app, a year later than first planned. The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) will today release the ‘my health’ app after 16 months work by Adelaide-based IT consulting firm Chamonix. Per InnovationAus, the app was developed at a cost of $2.1 million to complement the existing digital channels used to access My Health Record, including myGov and third-party apps.

5. Airbnb admits awful things

Airbnb users who themselves may have done nothing wrong can be banned from renting vacation spots if they are deemed “closely associated” with another user who has already been banned. The short-term rental company says the plan is intended to bolster safety on the platform, but tech advocacy groups speaking with Gizmodo questioned the “half-baked” policy’s accuracy and said it appeared difficult, if not impossible, to enforce fairly. Read more about it here.

BONUS ITEM: More robots should be like Steve.

See you tomorrow.