IBM's new 5 innovations

MUMBAI: IBM is introducing its own Next Five in Five, a view on five innovations These five innovations were selected based on projects in their research labs, research conducted by their business think tank, and ideas pooled from more than 150,000 people from 104 countries who took part in a recent online brainstorming session called IBM Innovation Jam.


Healthcare prognosis

A wireless innovation coupled with the ability to securely capture sensitive medical data. People with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart ailments, will be able to have their conditions monitored as they go about their daily lives, through sensors in the home, worn on the person or in devices and packaging. The Helping Hand pill dispenser can help patients track compliance with their drug regimen and automatically transmit the data to caregivers. A blood pressure or pulse reading can be taken on a remote device and the results sent directly to a care provider‘s mobile phone, who can then follow up as needed.


Electronic medical records

It will provide immediate, current, secure access to patient information. And an electronic record can‘t be destroyed in a fire or natural disaster, such as happened when Hurricane Katrina left thousands of people without their medical histories.

EMRs are a critical enabler to any healthcare innovation. They have been enhanced with two new technologies:

Web-enabled tablets allow doctors and care providers to update a patient‘s medical records at the bedside, while making their rounds.

A digital pen automatically stores words, numbers, even pictures written by a patient on a medical form and transfers the data to his health record.


Real time speech translation

Real-time translation technologies will be embedded into mobile phones, handheld devices and cars. These services will eliminate the language barrier. This year, IBM announced two new technologies from their Research labs

IBM Mastor: Mastor works just like a human translator the conversation is translated instantly. It can be used for exchanging simple courtesies to providing support for more sophisticated conversations. Mastor is also available in two-way English to Modern Standard Arabic and Mandarin Chinese; additional languages are planned.

IBM Translingual Automatic Language Exploitation System: This software provides real-time monitoring and translation of Arabic broadcast media. TALES software allows users to search, and then view or listen to, news from foreign language broadcasts and Web sites around the world.


The 3D internet

The 3-D Internet will enable new kinds of interactive education, remote medicine and consumer experiences. IBM is working with major companies to transform experiences for everyday people. A major UK grocer is looking at building a virtual grocery store to allow people to walk the aisles, fill their basket with items available in inventory, check out and then receive a delivery of those groceries at their home.


Micromanaging our environment down to the nano level

This year, IBM will undertake new research projects focused on the environment: advanced water distribution, water filtration via nano technology and efficient solar power systems.

Advanced water modeling, distribution and management systems: With the ubiquity of IP-based technology today, it is possible to envision a technologically enabled smart water distribution system that helps manage the end to end distribution, from reservoirs to pumping stations to smart pipes to holding tanks to intelligent metering at the user site so consumption could be managed in a responsible way.

The water distribution system would serve as a grid, much like a utility grid, at multiple levels. Such a system would integrate business processing, decision making, utilization, diagnostics, and remote monitoring type applications.

Water desalination using carbon nanotubes: The current methods of desalinating water, reverse osmosis and distillation, are both expensive and high maintenance. IBM will research methods of filtering water at the molecular level, using carbon nanotubes or molecular configurations, which can potentially remove the salt and impurities with less energy and money per gallon.

Efficient solar power systems: The high cost of fossil fuels, reliance on supply from areas suffering from political instability and worries about global warming have increased interest in alternative energies. IBM Research‘s unique semiconductor knowledge, nanostructure fabrication and testing, and packaging technology may be applied toward more efficient, simpler, lower-cost solar power production.

IBM Research is one of the largest information technology research organization, with about 3,000 scientists and engineers in eight labs in six countries.


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