By Arvind Krishna
Over the past two decades, the Internet, cloud computing and related technologies have revolutionized many aspects of business and society. These advances have made individuals and organizations more productive, and they have enriched many people’s lives.
Yet the basic mechanics of how people and organizations forge agreements with one another and execute them have not been updated for the 21st century. In fact, with each passing generation we’ve added more middlemen, more processes, more bureaucratic checks and balances, and more layers of complexity to our formal interactions–especially financial transactions. We’re pushing old procedures through new pipes.
This apparatus–the red tape of modern society–extracts a “tax” of many billions of dollars per year on the global economy and businesses.
What can be done? One potential solution is an intriguing technology called blockchain, which is little understood outside a small fraternity of computer scientists. Blockchain provides the technology underpinnings of Bitcoin, the crypto currency that has been the subject of much interest and speculation within the technical, business and law enforcement communities, and in society at large. (IBM is not involved in cryptocurrencies.)
By Pat Toole
In the next few years, hundreds of billions of objects will be connected to the world’s information technology systems via the Internet of Things. That includes everything from the sensors on electricity grids and factory equipment to the fitness monitors we wear on our wrists and food items in the grocery store.
Yet, already, the vast quantities of data flowing from IoT devices are overwhelming the ability of many organizations to capture and make use of it.
That’s why the time has come to make the Internet of Things ready for business. By that I mean building an enterprise-class infrastructure capable of handling all this data and turning it into actionable insights when people need them.
By Dharmendra S. Modha
For decades, computer scientists have been pursuing two elusive goals in parallel: engineering energy-efficient computers modeled on the human brain and designing smart computing systems that learn on their own—like humans do—and are not programmed like today’s computers. Both goals are now within reach.
And, today, as we launch our ecosystem for brain-inspired computing with a TrueNorth Boot Camp for academic and government researchers, I expect that the two quests will begin to converge. By the end of the intensive three-week training program, hopefully, early adopters will set out to show potential for these new technologies to transform industries and society.
The boot camp is a pivotal step in bringing brain-inspired computing to society by putting cutting-edge innovation in the hands of some of the best and brightest researchers who will begin to invent a wealth of applications and systems that we cannot even imagine today.
By Veena Pureswaran – As the Internet of Things continues turning physical assets into participants in new real-time, digital marketplaces, it’s creating what we describe as a new “Economy of Things.” In fact, such digital marketplaces represent huge economic opportunities for growth and advancement.
In a new study from IBM’s Institute for Business Value, The Economy of Things, we explored the macroeconomic impact of this transformation across three dimensions: Asset Marketplaces, Risk Management and Efficiency, as defined here: Continue Reading »
By Jamie Smith and Sky Matthews
Organizations in the industrial sector – energy, water utilities, oil & gas, manufacturing, mining and transportation – have a lot of pre-existing equipment that isn’t instrumented. Truth be told, the equipment is just old. According to a Wall Street Journal article citing Morgan Stanley, most of the industrial machinery in use is at least 10 years old. Not since 1938 have North American factories worked with such out-of-date equipment.
Industries with aging infrastructure but increasing demands need better monitoring and predictive technology. To address this challenge, IBM and National Instruments (NI) are teaming up to create an industrial Internet of Things testbed – a cloud-based platform that lets organizations better monitor and manage the health and performance of any connected device, machine or industrial equipment. Continue Reading »
By Harry Kolar
New York’s Lake George is a pristine, 32-mile-long lake in the Adirondack Mountains that is noted for its water quality and clarity. While the lake is very clean, it faces multiple anthropogenic threats, including road salt incursion and several invasive species.
The Jefferson Project at Lake George, a joint research collaboration involving Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM Research, and the FUND for Lake George, is focused on protecting the lake and helping address the world’s looming freshwater supply challenges.
The project involves more than 60 scientists around the world (four IBM Research labs are involved), including biologists, computer scientists, physicists, engineers and chemists. Working as a virtual team, we’re pushing the boundaries in Internet-of-Things sensors, data analytics, and modeling of complex natural systems. Continue Reading »
By Ron Ambrosio
You walk into a room at night and flip the light switch on the wall. The lights come on. You didn’t think twice about that …you were certain it would work. While we’re not at that point everywhere in the world yet, it is true of most industrialized regions that electricity is a highly reliable resource. But the reality behind that simple action of turning on a light switch is a constantly evolving list of uncertainties that utilities deal with 24/7.
Uncertainty takes many forms in the utility industry, from the health of individual devices as they age, to volatility of fuel prices, to the behavior of you, the consumer, and your use of electricity or natural gas. And uncertainty can be equated to risk — the risk of failing to achieve both operational and business objectives. That’s not a risk any business wants to take. Continue Reading »
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 »
By George Dannecker
For years we’ve talked about how the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to change our world, but the challenges have always been battery life, short distances, high costs and difficulty to deploy. But these challenges didn’t stop, Senet Inc, formerly known as EnerTrac, from building its own private long range and low cost IoT network four years ago.
You may ask, why build up our own? Well, the major telecom operators are focused on cell based networks, which is necessary to facilitate high data rate applications, but is too expensive and energy demanding for the types of IoT applications we had in mind.
So we decided to become America’s first Network as a Service (NaaS) provider. In a way, a NaaS really isn’t much different then a telecommunications operator, where we essentially rent out our wireless infrastructure to clients — the first ones coming from the heating industry, more specifically delivering oil and propane heating to residences and businesses. Continue Reading »