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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:


Facts and Figures about real world issues and smarter solutions from IBM January 10, 2012

Posted by Kristina O'Regan in IBM, Innovation, Intelligence, Smarter Buildings, Smarter Cities, Smarter Enegry, Smarter Healthcare, Smarter Transport, social-media, Uncategorized, Watson.
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Tag, you’re it! You can’t hide from RFID January 3, 2012

Posted by Kristina O'Regan in IBM, Innovation, Intelligence, Smarter Buildings, Smarter Cities, Smarter Enegry, Smarter Healthcare, Smarter Transport, Uncategorized.
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Visit the IBM stand and participate in our RFID activity – Tag your it!!

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a tracking technology that is used to uniquely identify and track specific objects. RFID uses radio waves to transfer data from an electronic tag, called RFID tag or label to an RFID reader and this data is then used to identify the object the tag is attached to. The RFID tag is interrogated by an RFID reader for the purpose of identifying and tracking the object the tag is attached to. Some RFID tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the line of sight of the reader (e.g. inside a box). The application of bulk reading of tags enables an almost-parallel reading of tags where tens or hundreds of tags can be read parallel. The tag’s information is stored electronically in circuitry on the RFID tag. The RFID tag includes a small RF transmitter and receiver. An RFID reader transmits an encoded radio signal to interrogate the tag. The tag receives the message and responds with its identification information.  Many RFID tags do not use a battery. Instead, the tag uses the radio energy transmitted by the reader as its energy source to broadcast the tags data.

Definition of RFID->

Traceability and types of RFID->

IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative, adds intelligence to everything from industrial supply chains to municipal traffic systems, and takes advantage of the increasing numbers of RFID tags and sensors that are rapidly being added to physical infrastructure. “This combination of real-time data, location-based data and domain-based analytics is very powerful.”

Read more->

Examples where RFID is being used:

Smarter Healthcare and RFID

Everyone has heard about tragic wrong-site, wrong-patient and wrong-procedure surgeries. Using an RFID tag attached to a patient, a healthcare provider can now verify the correct patient, procedure and site – prior to the start of any invasive surgery.

Patients may also be tracked in a hospital real-time. This can allow patients requiring special attention to be tracked continuously. Healthcare providers can use the RFID system to easily locate patient and increase their productivity on rounds.

  • Ensures greater patient safety and accurate patient identification at the point-of-care
  • Improves medication administration helping to reduce medication errors
  • Provides asset tracking capabilities to reduce operational, inventory and labour costs
  • Provides a simple tracking solution of medical supplies from the factory to storage shelves, enabling efficient inventory management

IBM is now leading the way in the development and integration of custom RFID solutions to provide dramatic benefits for healthcare providers, caregivers and patients – as well as healthcare insurers, pharmaceutical and medical manufacturers.

Find out more->

Smarter Parking:

IBM and Streetline, Inc. are collaborating to help cities of all sizes reduce congestion, better manage parking availability and resources and put information at people’s fingertips to find parking faster.

IBM is partnering with parking technology firm Streetline to create a RFID enabled solution.  Their solution is embedding magnetic sensors within each parking space. This sensor can detect whether a car is above it or not. RFID technology then relays this information to a reader/repeater. These repeaters are placed on light poles and other stationary objects throughout the designated city area. The information is then transformed into a usable format and sent to end users.

This system correlates with Streetline’s Iphone application “Parker” which will graphically display where parking is available. The system can also be used in parking garages both to measure how long a car has been there, as well as directing newcomers to available spots.

Parking seems to be the new trend as a similar RFID enabled product rolls out for corporate parking lots. A RFID tag carried by the employee can be read from within the car and will open the front gate. A screen will also direct the newcomer to an available parking spot. This system, however, allows the tag to be taken with the employee. So if they are coming in the early morning with minimal lighting, RFID enabled lights will guide them to the building. If they cannot remember where the car was left, they can hold the tag near a screen (by the main entrance) and be shown the exact location of their vehicle.

Read more->

Press Release->


Washable RFID Tags track linen in hotels

Linen Technology Tracking and software specialist Fluensee. The intelligence of the product, called “Linentracker,” uses LTT’s SMARTtags and runs on Fluensee’s supply chain management platform.

Why the Big Brother approach? Simple: in the hospitality industry, one of the largest expenses of room occupancy is the growing cost of linen supplies — but until now, hotels are in the dark with regard to where those assets are, both when they’re in the hands of customers and when they’re being laundered by outside vendors.

Here’s how it works: each asset is scanned and monitored to and from the laundry, in and out of linen closets, at various check-in or check-out stations, down laundry chutes and even at pool and beach kiosks. AssetTrack monitors everything in real time, then offers insights via its reporting and analytics engine.

Learn more->

Smarter Food:
Technology is shaping how it grows, how it tastes and how it gets to your plate.
The food traceability framework from IBM takes an instrumented approach to your supply chain, as each asset is assigned a unique identifier. This could be a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag assigned to an animal, a barcode assigned to a package or an ID that represents the acre on which a crop was grown.

Find out more->

60 IBMer’s preparing for BTYSTE 2012 December 14, 2011

Posted by Kristina O'Regan in IBM, Innovation, Intelligence, Watson.
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IBM in Ireland are gearing up for BTYSE 2012 with 60 IBM volunteers ready to meet visitors at our stand.  The theme of our stand is “The Evolution of Technology.”

We are celebrating 100 years of innovation! IBM is constantly challenging itself to do what many think is impossible. This vision is leading our engineers and scientists to invent many of the building blocks of modern business and Information Technology. IBM has created 100 Icons of Progress which you can read about on our Centennial portal.  IBMer’s have also marked our centennial through a “Celebration of Service” by volunteering and giving back to their communities around the globe.

Visit us at Stand 26B and see how technology is evolving from those early innovations to ‘Watson’ – a scientific breakthrough in solving ‘natural language’ questions and winner of the Jeopardy! a U.S. quiz show.

IBM today is using this technology to make our world work smarter, by connecting the systems that run our world, and analysing the data from those systems, we have new ways of looking at information and can make smarter decisions as a result in healthcare, education and much more.

To find out more about IBM technology, create a QR code, develop a character using ‘Scratch’ , see RFID in action or to pit your wits against Watson visit on us Stand 26B.

Be sure to check our blog for the latest updates from guest bloggers and will fill you in on more details about our stand activities as we prepare for the big event.  Also follow us on:


IBM in Ireland Facebook page