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Bringing Smarter Planet to the People
January 28th, 2010


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IBM_SP_Exhibit_Floor_1Following is a guest post from Gary Cohen:

Just a little more than a year ago, IBM began a global conversation about the promise of a smarter planet. Since then, we’ve worked with governments and institutions across the world to implement innovative solutions to make companies, industries and cities literally work better.

Yet, the responsibility of building a smarter, more sustainable planet extends well beyond these interactions with a few, select decision-makers. All of us – from parents and teachers to future generations of citizens and leaders – play a part.

Earlier today, IBM and Disney unveiled a new SmarterPlanet exhibit at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot in Orlando, Florida. In exploring this exhibit, millions of Epcot visitors from every corner of the world will understand the individual role they play in creating a smarter planet. When they leave, we hope they are inspired to consider how they can contribute to making the world work better.

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The exhibit brings to life the many ways technology is woven into the way we live, work and play. It demonstrates how – by embedding sensors into everyday items – intelligence is being built into things we wouldn’t recognize as computers: our cars, appliances, roadways, power grids, clothes, even natural systems like agriculture and waterways. By connecting these systems and infusing them with intelligence, we can be more efficient, more productive and more sustainable.

The exhibit is powered by a new IBM smart data center that allows visitors to get a behind-the-scenes view of the technology and infrastructure required to address issues like reducing road traffic and city crime or improving food safety and local water supplies.

IBM and Disney have enjoyed a strong partnership for nearly 50 years. I think the reason for this is simple, and it lies in our shared values. IBM’s vision of a smarter planet is driven by our commitment to delivering innovation that matters for the world. That’s not so far afield from the importance that Disney places on Innovation, Community and Optimism. Together, these values speak to a shared sense of hope about what is possible in the world. At the SmarterPlanet exhibit at INNOVENTIONS, we offer visitors a glimpse of what is possible when hopes and ideas meet technological reality.

Gary Cohen is the general manager of IBM’s Communications Sector.

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