Research

Focus and Approach

Brett’s research investigates the social, economic and political implications of technological transformation and, in particular, the movement from analogue-print to digital and mobile media systems. This transformation is explored through case studies that examine sports media, environmental media, and other forms of wireless, online and digital media. His approach is based on a combination of critical analysis, accessible writing, and evidence drawn from industry and policy circles.

Grant Funding

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– FT130100506: “The Mobile Media Moment: Investigating the Pivotal Role of Sport in Mobile Media Content, Markets and Technologies”

Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship 2014-2017, $795,175.

Investigator: Brett Hutchins

Smartphones and tablet computers are transforming the production and circulation of media content in broadband economies around the globe. Recognising the phenomenal popularity and value of sport as a “premium” form of content, this research program addresses the question of how sport affects the structure and operation of mobile media and telecommunications markets in Australia, China, the UK, and US. This project is significant because it offers pioneering and internationally focussed research that will explain how and why sport is embedded in the complex interaction between markets, industry practices, policy settings, and new consumer technologies in an age of mobile media.

– DP1095173: “Changing Landscapes: Online Media and Politics in an Age of Environmental Conflict”

Australian Research Council Discovery Project 2010-2012, $182,000.

Investigators: Libby Lester, Brett Hutchins & Simon Cottle

This project investigates environmental conflict, news media and politics at a time of rapid social and technological change. The Internet and online media are crucial additions to the “media ecology mix” alongside print and broadcast platforms, enabling innovative activist strategies and producing unpredictable political outcomes. The first Australian project of its type, this research significantly enhances understanding of the media and political contexts in which contemporary environmental conflict occurs.

– DP0877777: “Struggling for Possession: The Control and Use of Online Media Sport”

Australian Research Council Discovery Project 2008-2010, $181,000

Investigators: Brett Hutchins & David Rowe

Sport content is a valuable media commodity and “killer application” attracting consumers to new digital media products and services by harnessing sport’s powerful cultural appeal. Recent disputes over ownership of online sport content demonstrate its pivotal role in media development. This Project analyses current practices and emerging issues affecting sport and media culture arising from the rapid growth in online sport content.

– “Near Real-Time Passenger Counting, Mobile Media, and Movement In and Around Public Transport Railway Systems”

Faculty of Arts-Engineering Interdisciplinary Research Seed Funding Scheme 2016, $25,000.

Investigators: Brett Hutchins, Meead Saberi (Engineering) and Selby Coxon (Monash Art, Design & Architecture).

Wi-Fi enabled smart mobile devices look for wireless hotspots in their immediate vicinity. This capacity can be used to count the number of devices, and by association, the number of people in a designated space. With sufficient coverage, the number and flow of people through a space can be mapped. Combining sensor-based data analytics, innovative design principles and qualitative research methods, this project assesses the underlying assumptions of this solution and aims to develop a methodological framework to effectively interpret the collected sensor data and provide significant impact to the transport industry.