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Can IBM help with your entry to the BTYSTE Primary Science fair February 6, 2012

Posted by bodonovan in IBM, Smarter Buildings, Smarter Enegry, Smarter Healthcare, Smarter Transport.
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IBM has a strong culture of encouraging employees to volunteer to help organisations in their community. For example, you can visit this site to read what we did during our centennial year. One of our recently launched programs is a scheme where IBM employees help local schools do projects relating to IBM.s Smarter Planet initiative.

Some people think that young children will have trouble understanding what is involved with our Smarter Planet initiative, but we find that with a little assistance, they have no trouble in getting involved. To see how this might work, look at the video below which features  an interview with some pupils from Mount Sackville primary school about a Smarter Energy project that they carried out for this years primary science fair with assistance from IBM employees.

We would like to grow this type of partnership between IBM and local schools. If any schools are interested in doing a project for next years primary science fair and would like to get a member of IBM staff to come an help them with their project, please leave a comment on this blog and we will see if we can make arrangements. Naturally  we are more likely to be able to help if the IBM volunteers live near the school, but if you don’t ask you will never know.


[xpost] Delighted to see the enthusiasm for science from the participants at the PrimaryScience fair January 26, 2012

Posted by bodonovan in Smarter Enegry, Uncategorized.
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[This post was originally posted on Brian’s personal blog]

Sometimes people complain that the current generation of young people are losing their interest in and enthusiams for Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM). However, anyoine who visited the Primary Science fair at the Young Scientist Exhibition in the RDS this week could not possibly believe that these complaints are true.

Yesterday, I was scheduled to help demonstrate the Watson system at the IBM stand in the afternoon, so I came to the RDS early and spent the morning wandering around the exhibition. The first sction I visited was the PrimaryScience sectioon and the enthusiasm and energy of the young pupils demonstrating their work was wonderful to see. They were clearly very enthusisatic about their projects and rightly proud of what they had done.

All of the project were great, but the highlights for me were:

  • The girsl from Mount Sackville primary presenting their project on Smarter Electricity at BTYSTEThe Mount Sackville project “Smart Energy” which looked at ways that the girls could be less wasteful of electricity both in school and at home. Of course I am biased by the fact that I was involved in launching this project, but the reality is that I had relatively little to do with the project.
    Once I introduced the girls to the topic they embraced the it with great enthusiasm and did not require much help. They used the current cost meters that I had set up for them to chart enetric usage and they summarised it in some wonderful charts. They also came up with great ideas for how they could be more effecient.
    I was also pleasantly surprised to see how prominently they  acknowledged the help they got from IBM.
  • Heat Driven MotorThe boys who were presenting the Unlimited Energy stand had built a number of different devices that showed different forms of energy being applied. Unfortunately I didn’t record the name of their school, but I couln’t help being impressed by the amount of enegry that the boys were putting into their involvement in the science fair as the battled with each other for the honour of explaining how each of the devices worked. For example, the heat driven motor shown on the right was powering a propeller from the heat contained in a cup of coffee. What was really cool about this type of motor was that no steam was allowed to escape and hence the motor is suitable for use on submarines and other environments when steam escaping would not be acceptable.
  • FunBrayziaThe FunBrayzia project from the boys at St Peter’s National School, Bray was a very clever choice of project because they analysed the physics behing the various attractions in the funfair. I don’t think it would have been too hard to get the young boys interested in funfairs. They had built very elaborate models of the various rides using and were using these to explain the physics involved.

Of course there is a lot more to the Young Scientist exhibition than just the PrimaryScience section. I will write up a fuller report later when I have a chance.

Helping school children understand the concept of Smarter Energy January 14, 2012

Posted by bodonovan in Smarter Buildings, Smarter Enegry.
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The IBM Smarter Planet campaign has a number of different strands that focus on ways that computers can help the world work better. One of these focus areas is Smarter Energy, where we look at how we can make more efficient use of our planet’s limited energy resources.

CurrentCost MeterSometimes it can be difficult to grasp the abstract concept of Smarter Planet, but it is easier to understand by working with concrete examples. In recent months, a few IBM employees have been working with local schools to help the children understand how they can implement Smarter Energy concept. We have installed CurrentCost Energy meters for them and explained how to monitor their electricity usage and look for ways to make savings.

One of the schools that we worked with was Scoil Mhuire in Chapelizod (also known as Mount Sackville Primary School). The girls in the school did a project based upon monitoring their electricity usage in school and at home to see where they could make reductions. The girls will be presenting the results of their project today Saturday. So, if you are planning to visit the exhibition today, why not drop by to see what they achieved.

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->