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Masaaki Tanaka

Masaaki Tanaka, Designer, IBM

By Masaaki Tanaka

When I came to work for IBM as a designer in the Tokyo Interactive Experience’s User Centered Design lab last September, I expected to focus on enterprise computing. But, much to my surprise, the project I’m working on now for an IBM client has me imagining the digital lifestyles of a certain class of individuals–Japan’s senior citizens.

In fact, the target customer for Japan Post’s just-launched online Watch Over service is my own father. My dad is a 75-year-old retiree who lives alone in a rural area in Saga Prefecture, in the south of Japan. He has never touched a computer. He rides a bike rather than driving a car, so he’s cut off from his friends and it takes him 20 minutes to pedal to the nearest convenience store. I hate to think what would happen if he had a medical emergency. Continue Reading »

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Two NOAA WP-3D Orion Hurricane Hunters collecting weather data.

NOAA WP-3D Orion Hurricane Hunters collecting weather data.

By Anne Altman

While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was created officially in 1970, its roots go back more than 200 years. The agencies that came together to form NOAA represent some of the oldest federal agencies. So much history, so much research, so much science, so much data…so little time.

Every day, NOAA gathers more than 20 terabytes from Doppler radar systems, weather satellites, buoy networks and stations, tide gauges, real-time weather stations, ships and aircraft. That equates to creating more than twice the data contained in the United States Library of Congress – every day. Yes, data is our greatest natural resource, but like any natural resource, its power is only useful if it can be refined. Continue Reading »

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By Judy Murphy

One of the most stressful parts of a nurse’s job is the so-called “handover,” which occurs at the beginning of the shift–typically at 7 a.m. or 7 p.m.

In a matter of minutes, they have to find out which patients have been assigned to them, get reports from the nurses who handled those patients during the previous shift, and plan everything for their shift, from administering medications and scheduling procedures to giving baths and doing assessments –all the while being aware of activities that are already on the books for each patient. Talk about multitasking! Continue Reading »

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Kyu Rhee, Chief Health Officer, IBM

Kyu Rhee, Chief Health Officer, IBM

By Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP

There was an interesting decision to make within IBM about what to call a new business organization that we’re announcing today. Should it be named Watson Health or Watson Healthcare?

“Health” is an aspiration, for individuals and society. “Healthcare” describes an industry primarily focused on treating diseases.

While healthcare is essential, it represents just one of many factors that determine whether people live long and healthy lives. Some other critical factors are genetics, geography, behaviors, social/environmental influences, education, and economics.  Unless society takes all of these factors into account and puts the individual at the center of the healthcare system, we won’t be able to make large-scale progress in helping people feel better and live longer. So, Watson Health it is. Continue Reading »

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IBM engineers at NASA.

IBM engineers at NASA.

By Sandy Carter

In 1969, the world witnessed one of the greatest engineering achievements of all time, landing two astronauts on the moon for the first time. NASA used IBM technology to calculate the enormous amount of liftoff data needed for astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin to meet the command module for the flight back to Earth, and also called on our resources in managing subsequent Apollo missions.

This weekend, nearly half a century later, IBM is sponsoring the NASA Space App Challenge to give developers, students, scientists, educators, and entrepreneurs a chance to take part in the next era of space innovation by helping them devise solutions that address challenges facing Earth, humans, robotics and space exploration. Continue Reading »

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Steve Hamm, Chief Storyteller, IBM

Steve Hamm, Chief Storyteller, IBM

By Steve Hamm

Last November in a championship powerboat race off Key West, Florida, Nigel Hook, skipper of Lucas Oil 77, was knifing along at more than 140 mph when he got a heads up from his support team that one of the main batteries was about to fail. That would have left the boat dead in the water. Instead, Nigel quickly switched to another battery and completed the race–finishing in 3rd place.

How did the support team know the battery was about to fail? Lucas Oil 77 is not only a monster of a motorboat; it’s also a node on the Internet of Things. Hundreds of sensors attached to the engines, navigation system and crew members monitor their health and beam the data wirelessly into the cloud, where it’s analyzed, and, when the system spots trouble, Nigel and the support team get alerts. Continue Reading »

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March 31st, 2015
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By Joel Cawley

As climate change advances, the frequency and severity of weather and climate disasters is increasing. That’s bad news for all of us, and it’s particularly dire for the people who lose property or loved ones as a result.

But what if insurance companies had much more timely and detailed understanding of weather events as they happened? They could help people avoid the worst and recover more quickly when they’re hit hard.

Imagine this scenario: A string of tornados is heading toward a city. An insurance company, supplied with a stream of real time weather information, issues up-to-the-minute alerts to its customers with more details about the path of the tornados than they can get on TV. Immediately after the twisters whip through the area, the company sends out text messages to policyholders inquiring about their safety. It asks customers to send photos of damage through a smartphone app. Continue Reading »

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IBM_Watson_AvatarBig Data, once thought to be the answer to unlocking insight, has itself become a challenge.  From the vast amount of digital content online to new types of data streams from social, mobile and other sources, information overload pervades all aspects of our lives.

Identifying true insights trapped within that data is a difficult task. How do you sift through the 95 percent of information that doesn’t matter to find the five percent that does?

Enter IBM Watson and the era of cognitive computing.  Watson has both an insatiable appetite for Big Data and the unique ability to contextually analyze that information to unlock meaningful insights.  Continue Reading »

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Robert-Jans Sips and colleague, Gert Jan Keizer, head into the Gobi desert on their Russia-Central Asia trek to combat water problems.

Robert-Jans Sips and colleague, Gert Jan Keizer, head into the Gobi desert on their Russia-Central Asia trek to combat water problems.

By Robert-Jan Sips

Last September, I left Amsterdam by car with friend and colleague, Gert Jan Keizer, to embark on the Poseidon Project – a community effort to fight the root causes of regional water problems with Internet of Things, cloud and analytics technology.

The epic journey took us across Russia and Central Asia to some of the most climate-challenged regions in the world. By the end, we had clocked a grand total of 34,000 kilometers.

Of all the Central-Asian water concerns, one of the most visible is the decline of the Aral Sea, lying between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. As recently as 1960, this inland sea occupied the same amount of area as Ireland. But since that time, is has gradually dried out and in 2014, it almost disappeared completely. Continue Reading »

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Brad McCredie takes flight

Brad McCredie takes flight

By Steve Hamm
Chief Storyteller, IBM

When Tom Rosamilia took command of IBM’s hardware division in early 2013, he faced a huge challenge. With the POWER systems, IBM made the world’s most capable server computers, yet sales were declining and there was no quick recovery in sight. One critical issue: the company’s high-end servers didn’t have a foothold in the fast-growing market for consumer- and public-cloud services.

A possible answer to Tom’s problem walked through his office door the first week he was on the job–in the person of Bradley McCredie, the chief technology officer for the hardware division. Brad urged him to make a radical change: Open IBM’s proprietary processor and system technology for use and modification by others.

The two men had discussed the idea previously–a number of times, in fact. But now Tom was in charge and Brad argued that the time had come to make a decision. “I said, ‘Let’s go for it,’” recalls Tom.

Continue Reading »

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