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Entries in ibm (4)

Tuesday
Jul172012

Augmented Reality Makes Shopping More Personal

Credit: IBM ResearchIt's no secret: Shoppers want to get in-store product information on their mobile devices. 

Developers at IBM Research are capitalizing on this trend by creating a new augmented reality mobile shopping app that will give in-store shoppers instant product details and promotions through their mobile devices.

Shoppers can receive special offers and identify, compare and rank products based on metrics such as price and nutrition value. The app will also store loyalty rewards or incentives and suggest complementary items.

Say you're shopping for low-sugar, highly rated and on-sale cereal. As you pan the camera across a shelf of cereal boxes, the augmented reality shopping app will point out which cereals meet the criteria and provide a coupon to entice you to make a purchase. 

Tuesday
Jul102012

IBM Bringing Augmented Reality to Your Local Grocer

Out of milk? IBM wants you to grab your smartphone and head to the grocery store.

At the company's Research headquarters in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., IBM's Fiona Doherty recently demonstrated an augmented reality shopping app that automatically delivers personalized coupons, offers, customer reviews and hidden product details -- such as whether packaging is biodegradable -- to smartphones as consumers browse store shelves.

The prototype app is designed to close the gap between the wealth of product information on the Internet and traditional retail promotions. Really, it has the potential to transform marketing offers from an intrusion into a convenient service welcomed by consumers. But will they truly make use of it?

Wednesday
Dec292010

IBM Peeks into the Future

IBM released its annual "Next Five in Five" list of five innovations expected over the next five years.

Among the predictions are advances in transistors and battery technology that will allow devices to last 10 times longer.

Today's lithium-ion batteries could be replaced by batteries that use the air we breathe to react with energy-dense metal, eliminating a key inhibitor to longer lasting batteries.

"If successful, the result will be a lightweight, powerful and rechargeable battery capable of powering everything from electric cars to consumer devices.

"Better yet, in some cases, batteries may disappear altogether in smaller devices by reducing the amount of energy per transistor to less than 0.5 volts and relying on a technique known as "energy scavenging," IBM said.

Also on the horizon: 3-D and holographic cameras that fit into cellphones allowing video chat

with 3-D holograms of your friends in real time.

Personalized commutes are another development seen by IBM scientists, who are already at work on using new mathematical models and predictive analytics technologies to deliver the best routes for daily travel.

"Adaptive traffic systems will intuitively learn traveler patterns and behavior to provide more dynamic travel safety and route information to travelers than is available today," IBM said.

Human beings will also increasingly become "walking sensors," providing valuable data to fight global warming, save endangered species or track invasive plants or animals that threaten ecosystems around the world.

"In five years, sensors in your phone, your car, your wallet and even your tweets will collect data that will give scientists a real-time picture of your environment. A whole class of 'citizen scientists' will emerge, using simple sensors that already exist to create massive data sets for research," IBM said.

Finally, IBM said, scientists will find ways to better recycle heat and energy from data centers to do things like heat buildings in the winter and power air conditioning in the summer.

"Up to 50 percent of the energy consumed by a modern data center goes toward air cooling. Most of the heat is then wasted because it is just dumped into the atmosphere. New technologies, such as novel on-chip water-cooling systems developed by IBM, the thermal energy from a cluster of computer processors can be efficiently recycled to provide hot water for an office or houses," IBM said.

Tuesday
Dec142010

This Robot Will Destroy You ... On Jeopardy

IBM is designing a robot that can process and understand natural language and answer complex questions with unprecedented precision and speed. The goal? To kick some ass at Jeopardy, of course! 

Code-named Watson, after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, the robot's computer processing power is designed to rival that of the smartest humans on TV. In fact, Watson will take on Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a February face-off.

And for Watson, it's not just a matter of being quick with the buzzer, as IBM explains:

This challenge is much more than a game. Jeopardy demands knowledge of a broad range of topics, including literature, politics, film, pop culture and science, [as well as] irony, riddles, analyzing subtle meaning and other complexities at which humans excel and computers traditionally do not. 

Watson is programmed to understand the actual meaning behind words, distinguish between relevant and irrelevant content and confidently deliver precise final answers. For more on the February Jeopardy challenge, visit IBM's research page