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Summer Internship like no other- Extreme Blue graduates share their experience January 11, 2012

Posted by melaniecorr in Extreme Blue Internship, IBM, Innovation, Smarter Cities.
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As well as our stand at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition, IBM is involved in many different projects encouraging young people to have an interest in science and technology. In this post, we’ll look at IBM’s Extreme Blue programme and talk to some Extreme Blue alumni who now work full time in IBM.

David, Jason and John of IBM Extreme Blue 2011

David, Jason and John, Extreme Blue alumni of 2011

Extreme Blue is IBM’s summer internship programme for Computer Science students approaching the end of their third level education. The programme runs in 15 IBM sites worldwide. When a student is selected for the programme, he or she becomes part of an Extreme Blue team. Each team’s goal is to develop a new product or service that addresses an existing market challenge. The teams work with leading technology which allows them to gain experience in areas that matter in the current technology market. Many Extreme Blue teams have the opportunity to patent new inventions they discover during their projects. To date, Extreme Blue teams have filed over 400 patents!

In 2011, there were three Irish Extreme Blue teams: two in IBM Dublin and one in IBM Cork. The teams spent the summer developing their different projects, receiving the encouragement and support of IBM staff. They presented their projects at several different IBM events during the course of the summer. In September, they traveled to Brussels where all the Extreme Blue teams showcased their final projects. One Irish team came second overall in Europe.

David, Jason and John have been working with IBM since completing the Extreme Blue internship in September 2011. Their other team mates returned to complete further education after the internship ended. I met with them to talk about how they heard about Extreme Blue and what thoughts they had on their experience.

Learning about Extreme Blue

IBM came to my college, DCU, in January speaking about the Extreme Blue programme and I applied in January and went through the process”.

What’s good about Extreme Blue

You learn more than just coding during the internship. You learn about the business mentality, the patent application process and how to think outside the box…”

Being part of a team means that each member has responsibilities that matter”

Everyone on the internship wants to be there and work hard unlike in college where some people may not be as interested.”

During the Extreme Blue internship, you are actually working on a specific project of your creation rather than just doing menial tasks within a big company. It is our project as well which we work on from start to finish.”

You have to make your own decisions and justify each decision. There is a great deal of creative freedom and responsibility. You also have a chance to select the technologies you want to use during the project.”

Moving from Extreme Blue to working in IBM

There is a bit of a transition from Extreme Blue to regular IBM employee. The teams are bigger and more established. However, having made contacts and support during the internship makes the transition easier.”

The Extreme Blue internship is definitely better than anything I have done before.”

For more information on the Extreme Blue programme, click here.


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->

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)