The history of measurement may seem arcane, but consider how people centuries ago measured time, length, or the Earth’s rotation. Compare that to measuring atoms with a scanning tunneling microscope — and all the historic milestones in between.
Today IBM is releasing a free, interactive app, IBM THINK Exhibit, for iPad and Android tablets. It shows how early tools have evolved into modern advances that make the world word work better — healthier populations, greener energy and safer, less congested cities. The app is for people of all ages who love science, history and technology — think of it as an “innovation time machine.”
Through thousands of images and historical anecdotes, IBM THINK Exhibit app brings to life stories of the history of progress, from space exploration to weather prediction and medical advances. It documents the roots of Big Data, from early charts and scales to microscopes and telescopes, from RFID chips and biomedical sensors in clothing to breath-sensor diabetes detectors.
The app shows how maps have been used to track data from early geographical charts to today’s data visualizations. It chronicles how “models” have been used to understand the complex behaviors of our world – from the Wright Brothers’ plane prototype in 1903, to today’s airline mechanical parts simulations. Given its strong educational bent, the app will even be used to create lesson plans for middle school students later this year.
By Andreas Fuchs, co-project leader, Electric Mobility, EKZ, Kanton Zürich, Switzerland
It is estimated that by 2050, 95 percent of cars will be equipped with an electric socket. This will mean that more than five million parking lots in Switzerland alone will be need to be equipped with a charging station to enable electric vehicle (EV) charging. Now imagine if all of these cars began charging at the same time and the impact it would have on the power grid.
While the electrical grid in Switzerland is not yet “smart,” the fact remains that EVs are being purchased. It is therefore, up to the auto manufacturers, utilities and equipment suppliers to ensure that the charging process is coordinated and controlled in order to prevent grid overload.
This was the driving incentive behind the Smartphone application (app) pilot that we are conducting with IBM Research in Zürich and the University of Applied Research Zürich in Winterthur, ZHAW. The goal is to study how mobile communication can be used to remotely control the EV charging process.
Editor’s note: Nearly two-thirds of all deaths globally occur due to non-communicable diseases. Better prevention and treatment could save tens of millions of lives and reduce healthcare costs dramatically. IBM and Novartis recently sponsored the NCD Challenge, a global university competition aimed at producing innovative solutions addressing NCDs. The winners are Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley; and ESADE Business School, Ramon Llull University in Barcelona, Spain. This guest post was written by the leader of the University of California, Berkeley team.
By Emily S. Ewell, Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley
Chronic illness such as asthma, diabetes and cancer need tangible, targeted solutions that maximize impact with the right intervention. Our university’s team in the NCD Challenge chose to narrow in on Type 2 diabetes – a measurable condition and intersection point for countless chronic risk factors. The good news is Type 2 diabetes is nearly 100% preventable by addressing risk factors such as unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. Continue Reading »
Today we open the doors for 9 days at the IBM Summit at Start, just as a revealed that 47 per cent of British adults feel the plethora of information on sustainability is confusing and often conflicting. poll of over 2,000 consumers
The business community didn’t fair much better as 50 per cent of the public rate the way organisations convey their sustainability policies as ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’. How can we change that?
May be changing that perception over the 9 days of IBM Summit at Start is asking a lot but we can begin to get things rolling. The key to the event is asking, what can sustainability do for business? This is a more authentic way to approach the subject so as to arrive at a place where the output makes sense to business and it’s consumers.
Back in June I mentioned how Coventry was running the worlds first city-wide Jam to open up a conversation with residents and business to find innovative ways to make the city smarter.
A month on and 2,000 posts later, IBM and Coventry are teaming up to make the ideas raised in CovJam real and transforming Coventry over the next 30 years.
Editor’s Note: Following is an essay co-authored by Bob Sutor, vice president of open source and Linux for IBM, and Jean Staten Healy, director of cross-IBM Linux strategy for IBM. It describes the central place Linux plays in building a smarter planet, and builds on a presentation about the role of Linux in Smarter Systems, which the two IBM executives gave at the recent Red Hat Summit.
What do you think about when you read or hear the word “smart” when it is applied to computers? How about a supercomputer? If any machine is smart, a supercomputer is, right?. According to a study released by the University of California at Berkeley in May, 2010, 470 of the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world run Linux, the open source operating system. That’s 91%. Evidently the people who decided to use Linux for these computers were pretty smart too.
As we think about all the ways where we can work together to create a Smarter Planet, Linux has a very natural role. First, Linux runs on more kinds of hardware than any other operating system. So if we are talking about tying together disparate systems to deliver better, more accurate, and more predictive health care, Linux can power the hardware and software to maintain the information repositories, do the data mining, and perform the analytics. That is, Linux can help provide the intelligence we will need and expect in our complex and sophisticated 21st century systems.
Linux runs on the smallest devices all the way up to the fastest supercomputers, as noted above. Linux today powers smart phones, Netbooks, laptops, desktops, and servers in datacenters, but also home automation and many embedded systems. Linux will be at the heart of smart electrical grids that allow utilities to reduce waste, remotely manage and monitor use, and help reduce costs to consumers. Linux will increasingly be part of the instrumentation that provides the data we will use to tune and optimize not just our electrical grids, but also our water systems, supply chains, and factories, to name a few examples.
As the data is collected from the sensors, Linux can help ensure that it goes where it needs to go to do the most good. In order to reduce pollution, cars need to be inspected and kept off the roads until they are compliant with emission standards. Linux can power websites where citizens can pay fees and schedule inspection appointments in a low friction manner. Then once the inspections are complete, Linux systems can push the data to local and regional authorities, but also to repositories and software that measure not only compliance but perform data analysis. This will yield important information to further improve the system, and reduce pollution even more. Our systems need to be more interconnected, and Linux can help them be so.
Linux is global and supports many languages and locales. The tools needed to create a Smarter Planet must run in the heterogeneous environments that we have today. Linux is a big part of how we instrument, interconnect, and derive intelligence from the information around us. As we optimize the systems we have today and develop entirely new ones to solve problems in better ways, don’t be surprised to see Linux inside.
Dr. Robert S. Sutor: Vice President, Open Source and Linux, IBM Software Group
Jean Staten Healy: Director, Cross-IBM Linux Strategy, IBM Systems and Technology Group