Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Making the Planet Smarter and Greener

Matthias Kaiserswerth, director of the IBM Zurich Research LabGreetings from NICTA Canberra Research Laboratory where Matthias Kaiserswerth, director of the IBM Zurich Research Lab is speaking on "Innovating to Create a Smarter Planet". The talk did not start well, with severe interference on the public address system. Dr. Kaiserswerth started by pointing out they do not make PCs any more. The still sell large IT systems, but also do software and consulting.He claimed IBM was the world's largest IT research organisation, four Nobel Laureates in the Zurich Labs and labs aorund the world.

Dr. Kaiserswerth argues that smart systems can improve the environment and health. One example was the amount of energy wasted by cars in cities looking for parking spaces. He pointed out that there are about 4 billion mobile phones in the world which could be used for smart applications, but this might need smarter phones with Internet access.

Dr. Kaiserswerth pointed that research on its own is not enough, a business case is also needed. He gave the example of smart sensors on shipping containers. Smart tags could be put on containers, but this would require agreement by all those involved in shipping would need to agree and to share the cost. Dr. Kaiserswerth pointed out IBM worked on Zigbee networking for container to container communication. It occurs to me that this system is also being used for smart meters. So I suggest it might be possible to equip housing modules with a Zigbee device used for tracking the container in transit and then for the smart meter when installed. This could also provide some limited Internet access for the home owner. In a modualr apartment building, the wireless devices in each apartment could communicate with each other to control building services and reduce energy use.

Another example Dr. Kaiserswerth used was the "Spoken Web Project" from IBM's Indian research labs. This would provide information services for people who cannot read text or want to access it via a mobile phone. There have been several attempts at this including the Simputer Indian PDA with voice. However, my preference would be to use advnaced web design, web accessibility standards and advances in text to voice to provide standard web sites which are also avialable via voice.
NICTA Canberra Research Laboratory
Big Picture SeminarSeries
Title: Innovating to Create a Smarter Planet

The world is getting increasingly intelligent, thanks to new technologies, the Internet and the enormous computing power of modern PCs. But a more intelligent world does not happen all by itself. Business enterprises, governments and the scientific community must share the responsibility for ensuring that all this potential can develop and be used in the right way.

At the moment we are still wasting energy, our healthcare systems are not working efficiently enough and the economy is overtaken by one crisis after another. What strategies and solutions are available for dealing with basic challenges such as these? How can a business enterprise use information more systematically and more intelligently?
How can the natural resources of our planet be put to better and more efficient use? With the technologies and solutions available to us today we can do more than we have ever been able to do in the past to link together people, things, processes and systems, and to make the world in general a more intelligent place. That is our vision for a smarter planet.

Since January 2006, Matthias Kaiserswerth has been leading the IBM Research Strategy in Systems Management and Compliance, coordinating the research work across IBM's eight global research laboratories. In July 2006, he was named director of the Zurich Research Lab, which he had lead already once before from 2000-2002.Dr. Kaiserswerth received his MSc and PhD in Computer Science from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and from Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany respectively. He is an honorary professor at Friedrich-Alexander University where he teaches applied computer science.

From imagination to impact www.nicta.com.au
Dr Matthias Kaiserswerth
Date: Tuesday 17 November 2009
Seminar begins at 12.30pm.
A light lunch will be served following
the presentation.
NICTA Seminar Room
Ground Floor, 7 London Circuit
Civic, ACT
RSVP Bookings are essential. Please email
by Friday 13 November 2009

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