PSFK presents 3 new groundbreaking concepts from International Business Machines.
IBM (International Business Machines) has long brought new perspective to the ways in which technology and human behavior intersect. The company, founded in the early 19th century, remains the world’s largest computer company and systems integrator, constantly bringing invention and innovation to the forefront of its activity.
Below we present 3 of the company’s most recent examples to expand their network of evolutionary machinery and user engagement.
World Community Grid
The company’s World Community Grid has launched an initiative to utilize everyday users’ idle computers to create a free, open-source lab for researchers around the globe. WCG gathers data and calculations (with users’ permission) by borrowing from the machine’s central processing units, whenever you aren’t working.
From AIDS research to compiling a comprehensive map of rice proteins to developing algorithms that identify trends in digitized cancer tissues that could lead to early, accurate, and rapid detection, the grid is compromised of “citizen researchers” that contribute to IBM’s assigned projects.
Since launching the efforts in 2004, more than half a million people in 218 countries have volunteered over 1.5 million laptops and desktops. In raw computing power, the grid is comparable to a top-10 supercomputer. The average PC would take more than 328,000 years to complete the grid’s calculations so far.
Remotely Controlled Traffic Lights That Halt Drivers’ Engines
The company recently submitted a patent application for “A System and Method for Controlling Vehicle Engine Running State at Busy Intersections for Increased Fuel Consumption Efficiency” which essentially prevents cars from running red lights by remotely stopping vehicle engines.
By receiving data from vehicles waiting at traffic lights, the system can send “stop-engine” notifications to cars waiting for longer than a specified amount of time. The patent explains further:
“The method may comprise..responding to a proceed status indicated by the traffic signal, further comprising: sending a start-engine notification to a first vehicle in the queue; calculating an optimal time for an engine of a second vehicle in the queue to start when the first vehicle starts moving; and sending the start-engine notification to the second vehicle in the queue at the optimal time.”
The Color-Sensitive Billboard
The company’s introduction of color-recognizing billboards alters the retail and out of home landscapes significantly. The billboards, currently operating in select locations, change color depending on what’s in front of it. Part of IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign, the billboards demonstrates the importance of smarter supply chains and personalized customer experiences.