Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
Archive for January, 2013

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis and the recovery from the worst American recession since the Great Depression, government leaders have learned that they need to do more, like make improvements to infrastructure, basic services and governmental programs, but with shrinking resources.

Municipal governments have the greatest direct impact on the lives of their constituents and no matter how tight the budget, citizens expect, and deserve, action.  So mayors have to think innovatively to accomplish goals, deliver services more efficiently and effectively and stimulate economic development.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter has not pared back his ambitious agenda despite reduced funding.  One major focus: access to a quality education, which he refers to as “the new civil rights fight.”  Mayor Nutter supports a number of creative initiatives designed to provide Philadelphians with educational opportunities and job skills to prepare them for the 21st century workforce.

Philadelphia is one of more than 60 cities worldwide that have participated in IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge program. IBM sends teams of six executives to participating cities to help them develop solutions to difficult problems. Nutter and other mayors have provided insights in to what it takes to transform cities. The lessons they learned are captured in a white paper, How to Reinvent a City.

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Dr. Trevor Davis, Consumer Product Expert, IBM Global Business Services

By Emily Simmons, IBM Writer, Communications

If you ask Trevor Davis what rule he lives by, he will tell you it’s to “seek the creative opportunity in everything.” As a former scientist who worked on the Space Shuttle and NASA’s International Space Station, Davis has spent his entire career using technology to create and innovate some of the most forward-thinking business solutions for companies like PwC and IBM.

Currently, Davis is a recognized expert on Consumer Products for IBM’s Global Business Services, where his colleagues say he still has a bit of the ‘mad scientist’ in him.  His new clients are primarily within the Consumer Products industry and are in the midst of a new business era — one that’s focused on empowering the consumer. Davis’s new challenge: develop new business solutions that help them reach their target markets.

Big Data has attracted manufacturer and retailer focus over the past few years, but it is the power of advanced analytics that is now playing the lead role in business strategy. Today, more and more companies are asking, “What more can we do with this information?” Davis says his clients began taking a deeper look at Big Data and want to explore how predictive analytics can offer insight into new product development and highlight trends in technology at the macroeconomic level. Continue Reading »

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Olivier Jouve, Director, Predictive Analytics, IBM

By Olivier Jouve

Our world has never been more interconnected and instrumented. Streams of data are constantly being collected from sensors that monitor everything from the environment, vehicles, buildings and bridges, mobile devices and home appliances. And because of these constant streams of Big Data, opportunities exist to effectively predict when equipment will fail, a storm will hit, traffic will increase or milk will spoil.

Human beings are still the most important and sophisticated data generators and sensors; however, our interpretation of signals is still highly unreliable.

That is why companies across every industry are using predictive analytics to collect, assimilate, and analyze the Big Data around behaviors that we humans reveal on a daily basis. By understanding how people act in different environments (offline vs. online) with what they purchase, along with what they say, how they say it, and when they say it, determines what their next action might be. More specifically, it can determine how these actions are directly affecting everything from the manufacture of equipment to inventory levels; and from fraudulent activity to the spread of infectious diseases. Continue Reading »

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Stand on a busy big-city street corner at lunch time and you will witness a chaotic scene. Thousands of people are walking every which way, getting on and off buses, descending to subways, riding in cars, and walking in and out of buildings. Where did all these people come from? And where are they going? Until now, such questions were unanswerable–mysteries of the city. But no more.

Today, thanks to deep analytics, we can for the first time understand the complexities of cities in motion.

IBM Researchers have developed analytics software that provides accurate and meaningful information about massive numbers of peoples’ movements. These insights can be used by city managers to plan new transit routes, improve the efficiency of current transit systems, and coordinate the various transportation modes with a goal of making moving around in cities a lot more convenient and comfortable. The project, Insights in Motion, is a so-called First-of-a-Kind (FOAK) collaboration with transportation officials in Dubuque, Iowa, and Istanbul, Turkey.

A paper about Dubuque’s piece of the project, Dubuque Smart Travel, was presented Jan. 16 at the annual meeting of the  Transportation Research Board.

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Martin Kienzle, Ph.D, Electronics Industry Leader, IBM Research

By Martin Kienzle

At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, the hype wasn’t all about the latest smartphone or tablet launch. Exhibitors and attendees alike were abuzz about the rapidly evolving smarter home – a concept that calls for connecting not only your mobile device to the web, but your TV, fridge, washing machine, thermostat and even your carbon monoxide detector. 

The analyst firm Parks Associates forecasts that more than 8 billion devices will be connected to the home network by the end of 2015. The breakthrough that’s driving this mass adoption – cloud computing. Cloud is quickly becoming the common platform to connect these disparate devices into an “Internet of Things.” Continue Reading »

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Ben Goldhirsh, Co-Founder & CEO, GOOD Worldwide, LLC

By Ben Goldhirsh

With major technological advancements coming at an accelerated pace, success in our increasingly global economy depends more and more on intellectual property assets.

Patents, copyrights, and trademarks play a vital role in the economies of developed countries – in fact, intellectual property (IP) has been a key factor in the initial development of developed economies. Increasingly, emerging markets are seeing the value of fostering and keeping their own IP to help spur innovation, and provide both large and small firms with technologies that will drive success. This creation of competitive products and services that results from intellectual property ownership benefits not only consumers but society and the economy as a whole. Continue Reading »

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Kali Klena, Director of Shopper Insights, IBM Global Services.

By Kali Klena

At the National Retail Federation conference today, IBM will announce the results of a massive study of 26,000 shoppers from 14 countries – one of the largest surveys of its kind – designed to better understand their attitudes.

Now in its fourth year, the IBM Institute for Business Value survey points to a number of evolving trends from which retailers of all sizes around the globe can learn. For example, while online sales are expected to continue to rise, other aspects of the online experience are taking shape as well. Things like, “showrooming,” in which shoppers visit brick & mortar stores to browse goods, but then return home to purchase them online, is becoming more common.

So-called “showroomers” accounted for only six percent of all shoppers, but their impact on online sales was striking. Nearly half of all online buyers in the retail categories covered by our study were showroomers. Further, 25 percent of these shoppers said they initially planned to buy in store, but were swayed by their online experience – and 65 percent of these showroomers said they planned to buy online for their next purchase. Continue Reading »

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Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence

By Dr. Tom Corr

High performance computing was once the domain of big corporations, governments and universities. But not anymore. Global economic pressures to innovate and compete are intense, and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs or SMEs), recognized as economic powerhouses around the world are being ushered into the world of big data.

Thanks to an innovative and unprecedented partnership between Ontario Centres of Excellence, IBM, seven Ontario Universities, the Province of Ontario and FedDev, high performance computing (HPC) resources and technical expertise are now available to small-to-medium sized enterprises (SME) in Southern Ontario – businesses that are looking to expand their research capabilities.

Today we are pleased to announce that an additional 31 research projects have been added to this portfolio, enabling more than 20 Ontario SMEs to participate in this truly advantageous partnership. Continue Reading »

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Paul Michel, former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

By Paul Michel

America’s Founding Fathers considered patents important enough to put the patent right to exclude into the U. S. Constitution. In Article 1, Section 8, they listed patent protection above even the establishment of an Army and Navy. Their sequencing of priorities for Congress to address was not accidental, but reflected their plan for transforming the new nation from a poor, agrarian, former colony into the wealthy, independent, industrial and commercial power it became.

So in April, 1790, the first Congress enacted the first Patent Act. Over the next two centuries, the Act was amended and strengthened regularly, because successive Congresses observed industrialization and economic growth all around them, as under the Founders’ system, the United States went from importing nearly all manufactured goods to itself manufacturing all the products it needed and prospering as a major net exporter.

Within just a little over one hundred years, America surpassed all other nations in wealth and technology, partly because of its strong patent system, aided by wide oceans, abundant natural resources, and universal public education. Throughout the 19th century American inventors outpaced their counterparts elsewhere. During the 20th century, the American patent system helped stimulate the computer revolution as well as astonishing advances in medicine, including creation of whole new fields, such as bio-technology. After a slump in the 1970s, when Japan replaced America as the leading maker of consumer electronics, in the last two decades of the century our nation regained its rapid growth and technological leadership. Continue Reading »

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Dr. Trevor Davis, Consumer Products Expert, IBM Global Business Services

By Dr. Trevor Davis

Today, smart retailers are using sentiment analysis and social listening to keep one step ahead of trends as they develop – identifying which trends have staying power, when to act on them, and how to use them to their best advantage.

Some social media trends come and go in a day.  Some can remain unnoticed for years until they spring into public consciousness and everyone realises that the trend had been there all along – suddenly, like the exclusive model of automobile you just bought, ‘it’ is everywhere.

Some trends, like ‘steampunk,’ take decades to build momentum and make the break into the mainstream. Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself. What is steampunk and why should you care?

Steampunk is usually defined as a sub-genre of science fiction that concentrates on alterative world stories inspired by the technology, clothing and social mores of Victorian society. The stories of Jules Verne and H G Wells are often cited as inspirations. If you are a film fan you may have had a taste in the Will Smith movie “Wild, Wild, West” with steam-powered machines set in the Old West. Maybe you were in New York at Christmas 2011 and saw Macy’s holiday window dressed by designer Paul Olszewski in steampunk style.

Click the image to view an infographic of the Birth of a Trend.

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