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Lisa Seacat DeLuca, Master Inventor, IBM

Lisa Seacat DeLuca, Master Inventor, IBM

By Lisa Seacat DeLuca

Patents are the proof of unique ideas, even if the everyday use of those ideas aren’t realized until well into the future.

For example, I have more than 150 patents in my name but many of them have not yet been productized. That’s fine, though, because all innovations start with a spark of an idea. Capturing those sparks is what’s critical to the process.

SP IBM TED logoThese days I get to work on the open source software project, Apache Cordova, as a committer, or a trusted member who can add to and/or approve the code that others submit. The growing adoption of open software development is allowing more and more developers inside and outside of organizations to share code and build off that code to create new things, especially in the realms of mobile and cloud computing.  

Like crowdfunding and self-publishing, open source also cuts out the middleman and makes it easy for developers to produce working code quickly. It also allows us to do things like “fail fast” because we can push out code changes quickly making it possible for anyone with an idea to make that idea a reality.

Apps like If This Then That, for example, lets every day folks “listen” for a trigger condition in a first app and when it happens, ask a second application to perform a task – all without having to write a single line of code.

Recently, to demonstrate the ease of open software development, I used Apache Cordova to build a function into a pendant (necklace) that would light up, literally, whenever a specific hashtag was used on Twitter.

SP TED Pendant 2014

Kelly Stoetzel, content director at TED, will wear the pendant at the first of a kind, TED@IBM event on Sept. 23. Throughout the day, every time someone tweets #TEDatIBM, her pendant it will light up.

The little device cost me $35 for the metawear board and it connects via Bluetooth to a Cordova hybrid app I wrote. The app knows when #TEDatIBM is used, and sends a signal to the metawear’s sensor that turns on its LED for about a second – like a spark.

It’s just a little example of the big impact that mobile software development – and open software dev, in particular – will have on the emerging mobile and wearable computing markets.

So, check out TED@IBM and tweet about the future. Your thoughts will be read…and seen!


Read more about the women making a difference at IBM.

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January 20, 2016
8:28 am


Posted by: psiphon for pc
July 6, 2015
3:37 am

Its amazing what people can do with open source software. Personalized apps for personal use and/or commercial use. This is great.

Posted by: UON LIB
March 27, 2015
8:21 am

Thanks so much! Glad you found that useful.

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February 6, 2015
3:15 pm

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October 16, 2014
12:46 am

This is a good tip particularly to those fresh to the
blogosphere. Simple but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing this
one. A must read post!

Posted by: Mobiles
October 9, 2014
7:18 am

Thanks For Sahre This i really Like your blog Post about Mobile and Cloud Software Development.

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September 30, 2014
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September 26, 2014
11:33 am

I had the HONOR and privilege of working with Lisa for our TED@IBM event. She had the entire audience of 500 hanging on her every word, laughing at her jokes, and proud of her successes.

Great job Lisa – you’re an inspiration to us all, and I’ve definitely shared your success story with my two young daughters who now look to you as a role model!!

Posted by: Jacqueline
September 26, 2014
10:24 am

LOVE THIS, Lisa. Great work! I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Posted by: Alesa Grant
September 26, 2014
9:20 am

Kudos to Lisa for such a great innovation!
Applications are many once it sees light of the Day. Really Cool wearable.

Posted by: Bimal Patel
September 25, 2014
10:12 pm

commendable Lisa…how about taking it to a next level and add more LED/colours to this device and the device responds to multiple #tags with different colours or may be a sound.Considering what other signals we can generate from the code ,this idea can be made comprehensive I rekon.

Posted by: Ajay
September 25, 2014
5:45 pm

Brilliant Lisa!

Posted by: Al Sanchez-Cifuentes
September 25, 2014
5:03 pm

I wonder if you could reverse this a little and be able to locate the pendant? Imagine giving your 10 year old little girl a pendant like that. Something that lights up so pretty…and she gets lost. You could tweet away and zoom right in on her location!

Posted by: Lucy LePage
September 25, 2014
1:01 pm

A really cool implementation.

Posted by: David Weck
September 25, 2014
8:28 am

What a great idea…imagine the possibilities if connected with a “Google Glass” for example…

Posted by: Akos Ivan
September 25, 2014
4:57 am

Thanks for this great post. You’ve summed up the points so many of us in Open Source tell people daily about how to get involved.
Thanks for encouraging more participation in Open Source! Looking forward to reading more of your post

Posted by: Open source development
September 25, 2014
2:21 am


Posted by: Guotong Xie
September 24, 2014
10:23 pm

Lisa – I can see youngsters (and maybe not-so-young-sters) with topwear that glows every time they get a Facebook like. Or different colors for likes, comments, shares and so on. This could well become a whole new status symbol!!

Posted by: Gopalakrishnan Kolathu
September 24, 2014
12:27 pm

If we can create a pendant that can lightup via a tweet – we can use such (pager) technology to activate a garage door, remote control lawn mower and snow blower.

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