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Learn more about the the winners of the #IBM 2012 Award at #BTYSTE January 17, 2012

Posted by Kristina O'Regan in Data, Intelligence.
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Presentation Secondary School, Thurles students receiving IBM Award at BT Young Scientist 2012

The  IBM Award is given to a project that best exemplifies making intelligent use of data collected from the real world. Our world is becoming increasingly instrumented and interconnected, with the result that we can collect data from sources never before possible. But all this information only truly becomes interesting as it is used to unlock creative insights, make decisions, or automate processes, and when it is made available through open standards for further use by other systems.  This award recognises the project, from any category, which best exemplifies collecting data from some aspect of the physical world and using technology to turn that data into intelligence that can be actioned – making some aspect of our world “smarter”.

Emma Murphy and Catherine Harty, IBM Award Winners

Emma Murphy, Catherine Harty and Ana O’Brien from Presentation Secondary School in Thurles Tipperary won the IBM Award with their technology project “Database of Horses Heart Sounds”.  I spoke to them about their project and how they were inspired to create a database which holds a library of sound recordings of  horse heart abnormalities and various heart conditions.   Vets or people working with horses can then use the database, via a smartphone app, to compare their horses heartbeat with various heart abnormality and conditions stored on the database.    They can easily compare the horse’s heart sound recordings and visual sound waves with those on the database to assist in a preliminary diagnosis before investing time and money in getting an EKG. The database initially holds a few heart condition recordings but they hope to develop it to hold, not only all horse heart sounds, but other animals too.

The Inspiration

The girls are horse owners themselves and were intrigued to discover that 85 percent of thoroughbred horses have heart abnormalities/diseases. They wanted to learn more about this and through their research they discovered that there are not many databases available online for diagnosis of these horse abnormalities and conditions. They did find one that was for educational purposes.

The Technology

The students set out to develop a database that would be easy to use and they contacted an Equine Cardiologist who advised them to use a Thinklabs Rhythm Digital Electronic Stethoscope and Olympus VN8000 PC Recorder. The amplifier on the stethoscope was not clear enough to hear the sounds so the students uploaded the recording to a sound editor called Audacity (which is used for hearts and compatible with this ThinkLabs stethoscope. This sound editor enables you to see a sound wave graph for visual comparison as well as listen to it.

The students uploaded all the heart sound abnormalities and conditions to their database and developed an app for smartphones where people can upload their horse’s heart sound so they can compare visually and by sound against the various abnormalities/diseases in their database.  There is also a smartphone compatible stethoscope that people can get from Thinklabs to use with this programme.

Emma, Catherine and Ana are still working to develop their idea further and have already registered with the patent office.

Find out more about the technology by visiting these links:

Thinklabs Stethoscope->


To explain the project watch this video:


Building Smarter Smaller Cities December 24, 2010

Posted by Kristina O'Regan in Data, Smarter Cities.
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When you think of the world’s smartest cities, London, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Kitakyushu and others might come to mind for their innovative projects to reduce traffic, energy and waste.

But if you look deeper, there are hundreds of smaller cities that are getting smarter – and even outpacing big cities — by applying digital tools like analytics and location-based services to improve the way they manage city water, roads, parks, and utilities.

Take Corpus Christi, Texas, population 280,000. Corpus Christi has rolled out an intelligent city-wide system to help the city to quickly evaluate and respond to issues, anticipate and prevent problems and improve the quality of life for the citizens.

Read the full post on asmarterplanet.com “Smarter Cities” category->

Note: This is taken from  “a Smarter Planet Blog” guest post from Guru Banavar, Chief Technology Officer, Smarter Cities, IBM

City Forward – Tools to make sense of city data December 21, 2010

Posted by Kristina O'Regan in Data, Smarter Buildings, Smarter Cities, Smarter Transport, Uncategorized.
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City Forward is a philanthropic donation of services and technology from IBM, which applies expertise and technologies to offer insight into specific metropolitan issues. IBM recognizes the value of building a smarter planet, starting with building smarter cities. The future of our cities depends on entrepreneurs and citizens using this data to help build solutions and businesses to our major urban problems.
Theses tools to create “explorations”, topical visualizations of multiple data sets. Use these data and visualizations to come up with new ideas and share them with others.

Here is a short video to explain more.

Engage at http://www.cityforward.org.

Post from Martin Kelly on the IBM SmartCamp blog (www.ibmsmartcamp.com)