Internet of Things (IoT) Trend and Prediction Articles for 2014

The Internet of Things (IoT) is made up of physical objects (“things”) that have chips, sensors and actuators embedded in them that allow the sensing, capturing and communication of all types of data. These devices are then linked through both wired and wireless networks to the Internet. The IT challenge is to design IoT enabled systems and then leverage the information collected as a tool to help decision makers make better decisions.

I recently published my trend report Internet of Things: Trends to Watch in 2014 out on slideshare.   The report provides an overview of Internet of Things (IoT) and what to watch in 2014. Below I’ve provided you some articles on this trend that I thought you would want to read.

Source Title
InterSog How wearable technology will change future mobile paradigm [Part 1]
ComputerWorld.IN Internet of Things: 2013 Highlights & Outlook 2014
CNBC Wearable tech: What it needs to be a game-changer
Credit Suisse The Future of Wearable Technology
ZDNet AT&T’s predictions for the enterprise in 2014
Cisco Predictions 2014: Wager on the Internet of Everything
Digital-MR Driving Better Business Decisions With Social Media Research And The Internet Of Things
Forbes Credit Suisse Says Warable Tech The Next Big Thing
InfoTales 5 Things to Look Forward to in the Future of Wearable Technology
MsM News Will the ‘Internet of things’ be a thing in 2014?

 

Frost & Sullivan: Global Megatrends Shaping Our Future

Today I attended a webinar offered by research firm Frost & Sullivan that was titled “Mega Trends that will Shape the Future of the World”.  The stated purpose of the webinar was to discuss the most important global mega trends, potential scenarios of specific trends in 2020, and the implications of these mega trends in transforming society, markets and cultures. 

The webinar was jointly led by Frost & Sullivan Partner Sarwant Singh and Frost & Sullivan Team Leader Archana Amarnath. For those of you who want to view the webinar, at the end of this post I have the embedded the webinar, courtesy of Frost & Sullivan and Bright Talk.

I really enjoyed the webinar.  Here is my review of the megatrends covered during the webinar.

1)  Urbanization.   Frost confirms a trend that we’ve seen mentioned by others.  That is that the world’s population is increasingly shifting towards an urban environment.  Frost says that this trend will result in mega cities, mega regions, and mega transportation/business corridors.   Technology will be applied to enhance living and business activities within these mega-environments.

As a result of the urbanization trend, technology companies will try to address issues that impact consumer and business activities.  Frost predicts there will be an increased focus on making cities ‘Smarter’.  There will be over 40 global cities to achieve a designation of being “SMART” by 2020.  Frost says that more than 50% of the smart cities of 2025 will be from Europe and North America.   As the worlds businesses competes to realize the smart city opportunity, Frost expects there to be a convergence of smart city technology that will ultimately lead to convergence of competition in three different industries 1) Energy Infrastructure Players, 2) IT Players, and 2) Automation/Building Control Players.

2) Social Trends.  Frost mentioned three sub-trends here 1) Geo Socialization, 2) Generation Y and 3) Reverse Brain Drain.   

Geo Socialization.  Frost says Geo Socialization services will become an important part of the landscape in 2020 as we’ll see all sorts of location based services being pushed to mobile consumers and mobile business workers.

Gen Y.  There will be an increased focus placed on new and innovative products and services that cater to the values, beliefs, interests, and lifestyles of the younger generation.  A prime market will be the younger generation in India and China, who are increasingly displaying four key characteristics as consumers

  • Personalization and Individualization
  • Techno Savvy and Connected 24×7
  • Civic and Environmentally Friendly
  • Demanding and Impatient – “Fast and the Furious

Reverse Brain Drain.  Frost expects there to be a migration of skilled and educated workers from developed companies back to their homelands to fill a shortage of CXO Positions In BRIC countries.  Frost also says that many Europeans and Americans will seek jobs in these developing countries in the future in order to participate in the huge growth economies that are materializing.

3) Increased Satellites In Orbit.   Frost expects that by 2020 there will over 900 satellites will be launched annually around the globe. While this will cause a traffic jam in space, all those satellites will enable a whole set of new and innovative applications and services.

4) Cyber Warfare.  Frost is concerned that by 2020 cyber warfare will become an everyday occurrence.  In fact, Frost says that if there is a World War 3 in our future, cyber warfare will play an important part. 

5) Robot Technology.   Frost paints a strong future for robots across all sectors of the economy.  Future robots will utilize artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to be able to help us with everyday decision making.  The top applications for industrial robots will be in Robots in Space, Military, Healthcare

6) Virtual Worlds.  Frost says that by 2020, 3D simulated environments will be used to significantly enhance consumer and business activities.   Simulation and virtual world technology will change the way we interact with users and data.  For example, virtual shopping will allow customers to try products without leaving their homes.   Virtual surgeries will allow doctors to train for new types of procedures just like airplane pilots train in flight simulators today.  Frost explained that haptic technology is an an enabling technology for these immersive virtual and simulation environments in the future.

7) Cloud Computing.   Frost says we will have smart clouds by 2020.  These will be flexible and customized clouds created by consolidation of different off premise hybrid cloud services.  Cloud computing will allow future information technology infrastructures to  be scaled up or down as the workload demands.  Key enabling technologies will be  API standards and cloud security standards.

8) Innovating to Zero.   As we move towards 2020, there will be a focus on using emerging technologies to minimize failures.  Governments and businesses alike will strive to reach a level of zero security accidents, zero facility failures, zero emissions, zero accidents.   Frost mentioned initiatives in Norway as well as initiatives in the power generation generation industry to enable innovative zero emission technologies including Wind energy, Solar PV Cells, Ocean energy, Geothermal Energy, Bio Fuels, and Travelling Wave Reactors.

9) Infrastructure Development and New Transportation Corridors.  Frost expects higher spending on travel, transportation, and utilities infrastructures.  Frost mentioned the highest spending may be in water management systems, but also mentioned power generation/distribution, Road & Rail, and Air/Seaports.    Frost provided the example of the Trans-Siberian railroad.   This new transportation corridor will result in industrial and business hubs along the railroad, much like “Route 66” did to the American landscape.  Development of Trans-Siberian railroad will have significant socio economic and business impact to Russia. 

10) E-Mobility.  Frost expects that over the next decade all sorts of new forms of personal transportation vehicles will make its way to the economy.  Many of these will target urban commuters who just need to get to work and back.  Frost says that 40 million electric 2 and 4 wheeled vehicles will be sold annually around the globe by 20120.   

11) Healthcare:  Spending will rise globally.  Frost says that if the current spending trend continues, Healthcare spending will almost double by 2050.  Some countries will end up spending 20-30% of their GDP on Healthcare.   Spending will transition away from treating and more for predictive analytics that will be used to help diagnose and monitor conditions before they become serious.


A BrightTALK Channel

For more information.

A Primer On Water Management Issues

IBM Water Mgmnt Icon Today is Blog Action day at water.org.  It's a good time to get the word out to everyone on water management issues. Read more about water.org's blog action day at Blog Action Day – Working Together To Solve The Water Crisis.  This post is my contribution to the Blog Action Day.

Most of us reading this post take our access to water for granted.  However, I would imagine that we all realize that water is critical to sustaining life on our planet.  Water makes up 60 to 70% by weight of all living organisms and is essential for photosynthesis.  If the Earth’s water supply vanished, there would be no plants, no animals, and no people. 

While the Earth’s water is not vanishing, many scientists believe that our global water supply is in crisis.  We may or may not be at the crisis stage, but we definitely need to take action to solve our water management issues.

Some Quick Facts About WaterWater Wasted

  • Water covers 75% of the earth's surface.  Nearly 98% of the earth's water is in the oceans.  Fresh water makes up less than 3% of water on earth, over two thirds of this is tied up in polar ice caps and glaciers.  Fresh water lakes and rivers make up only 0.009% of water on Earth and ground water makes up 0.28%.
  • It takes 700 gallons of water to make a cotton T-shirt, 2,000 gallons to make one gallon of milk, and 39,000 gallons to make a car.
  • Global agriculture wastes an estimated 60% of the 2,500 trillion liters it uses each year. 
  • Municipalities lose as much as 50% of their water supply through leaky infrastructure.  
  • More than one trillion gallons of water are wasted in U.S. homes each year from easy-to-fix leaks.
  • 1 in 5 of the word’s population still lacks access to clean, safe drinking water. 
  • The United Nations predicts that nearly half the world’s population will experience critical water shortages by the year 2080.
  • There are nearly 53,000 different water agencies in the United States alone, each managing a short stretch of river or a handful of reservoirs. 
  • In the last 100 years global water usage has increased at twice the rate of population growth.

For those of us living in developed nations, our water infrastructure is many decades old.  In fact, in some places it is centuries old.  As our demand for water is increasing, we need to modernize the existing infrastructure.  One way to do that is to apply information technology.

Today’s water management systems are operating without enough data and insights.   The planet needs new water management systems, based on smart technology that can collect and analyze real-time data.  These new systems will provide water authorities with the insights they need to supply more water to more people with lower energy-use and cost. 

How Can Technology Help?

What is needed are water management systems that can provide real time collection and analysis of all sources of data.  This includes integrating disparate sensor technologies that produce disparate data formats along with other data from an array of partners.  Information technology solutions are needed that can take data that’s coming in fast and turn it into intelligence that augments the ability to improve decision making about water distribution.  These solutions need to connect the folks in the central control room with those working in the field building bridges, dams, dykes to the sensor experts and sophisticated modelers.

  • Technology can monitor, measure and analyze entire water ecosystems, from rivers and reservoirs to the pumps and pipes in our homes.
  • The latest water meters, combined with appropriate Water Management solutions can provide a single, reliable, up-to-the minute and actionable view of water use for a government, a business, or a home.   These ‘smart’ water meters can provide real-time insight into water use, raising awareness, locating inefficiencies and decreasing demand.
  • Advanced sensors can help us collect all sorts of new data on water usage.  For example, sensors on levees can monitor changing flood conditions and respond accordingly.  Sensor based systems can provide the agriculture industry with detailed information on air quality, soil moisture content and temperature to calculate optimal irrigation schedules.
  • Advanced computing, analytics, and simulations can help us all move beyond “real time” to prediction, supporting better-informed policy and management decisions.
  • Technology can also be applied to our oceans to gather data on water temperature, currents, wave strength, salinity and marine life, and applying algorithms that can forecast everything from wave patterns over 24 hours to the right time to harvest mussels.

IBM Water Management Solution Areas

IBM is taking a leadership role among technology vendors in researching, piloting and developing a whole suite of water management solutions.  Taking a look at what IBM is doing can help us see the areas where technology can be applied to solve water management issues

  • Natural Water Resources – Provides sensor data integration, analysis and visualization to enable the measurement, modeling and management of water levels, usage and quality in natural water resources.
  • Water Utilities – Enables water providers to make rapid decisions regarding business processes and operational efficiency to maximize their return on investments as well as foresee and quickly respond to contamination issues and emergencies.
  • Water Infrastructure – Provides sensing systems for managing water infrastructure, such as levee oversight management and flood control.
  • Water Metering – Improves management of water supply and demand by integrating data between the dozens of stakeholders involved. Provides all stakeholders with consistent, real-time information to help them work together to make critical decisions about water supply in a geographic region.
  • Green Sigma for Water™ – is a business consulting service that identifies where water is being used, measures and monitors usage, and creates process improvements to reduce water use. IBM pilots have achieved reductions in water usage of 30%.
  • SmartBay Sensor System – Monitors wave conditions, marine life and pollution levels.  Provide real-time information to stakeholders in the Irish maritime economy, runs on a cloud computing platform, and is able to predict water conditions critical to those stakeholders.

Innovative Water Management Vendors

The Artemis Project held its second annual Artemis Project Top 50 Water Companies Competition during the spring of 2010.   These vendors are all coming up with some very innovative and creative solutions to Water Management issues.  Check out the winners:  A list of the 50 is here.   View a poster show of this year’s winners here.

What Is Needed

More work is needed as we transform the water infrastructure to digital technology:

  • Continue to Build Awareness for Water Issues.  Many in leadership positions are not aware of the critical need for water management information technology solutions.
  • Continue Market Testing & Solutions Platform Development.  Technology vendors need to continue to build assets and test solution platforms.  Stronger linkages are needed across the growing ecosystem.
  • Continue to Build Thought Leadership Deliverables.  Tech vendors need to develop content highlighting case studies, references, demonstrations, and white papers.

For More Information

There is a bunch of more reading material available.  Here some links…

New Transportation Study Says Urban Sprawl Causes Congestion

Driven Apart For years now, The Urban Mobility Report, issued every two years by the Texas Transportation Institute, has been regarded by many transportation and urban planning experts as the ‘bible’ on traffic congestion issues.   The report has been used to justify large road improvement projects throughout the country in an attempt to solve major metropolitan traffic congestion problems.

However, a new report from CEOs for Cities offers a dramatic critique of the 25 year old industry standard created by the Texas Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Report (UMR).  The report provides a new look at traffic congestion and suggests there are additional reasons why  Americans spend so much time in traffic.  The report

The new report titled Driven Apart: How sprawl is lengthening our commutes and why misleading mobility measures are making things worse says the solution to the congestion problem has much more to do with how we build our cities than how we build our roads.  The report says that we need new metrics like 'total trip distance’ and ‘total travel time’, metrics that are not currently in the The Urban Mobility Report.

The report ranks how long residents in the nation’s largest 51 metropolitan areas spend in peak hour traffic, and in some cases the rankings are almost the opposite of those listed in the 2009
Urban Mobility Report.  Here’s a list from the report of the 10 cities (out of the 51 studied) where commuters spend the most time getting to work every day. 

Cities Avg. hours per year in traffic
Detroit – Warren – Livonia 179
Indianapolis – Carmel 166
Louisville / Jefferson County 165
Raleigh – Cary 161
Birmingham – Hoover 159
Oklahoma City 154
St. Louis 153
Memphis 152
Richmond 147
Kansas City 142

The report says that compact cities are the real answer to reducing traffic delays.  The key is to have land use patterns and transportation systems that enable their residents to take
shorter trips and minimize the burden of peak hour travel.   These conclusions are very different than those of the UMR, which has long been used to measure traffic congestion and has been used to justify road improvement projects costing millions of dollars.

It’s nice to have a fresh look at the traffic congestion issue.  Thanks CEO for Cities!

For more information, you can access the report (exec summary AND the detailed report) and supporting press release, graphics, etc. by heading over to http://www.ceosforcities.org/work/driven-apart

HorizonWatching at Tumblr is one year old today

A little over a year ago, I started contributing to the Smarter Planet blog on Tumblr at http://smarterplanet.tumblr.com/.  The Smarter Planet blog on Tumblr is the brainchild of Jack Mason at IBM and it has been fun contributing to that blog for the past year.  That blog, and it’s sister blog on Tumblr, Smarter Cities Scan is a great source for thought leadership content relating to emerging technologies and trends

As I started sharing content on the Smarter Planet blog, I found Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com) to be an innovative platform for blogging.   I decided to start a HorizonWatching blog on Tumblr ( http://horizonwatching.tumblr.com/) to experiment with the Tumblr platform.  I wanted to have a place other than the HorizonWatching blog here on Typepad to experiment with content sharing.  

On the HorizonWatching Typepad blog I communicate my own insights and content.  I use the HorizonWatching blog on Tumblr to share other’s content (usually direct quotes, videos, webcasts, photos, etc) that I have found interesting.   I’ve also linked those Tumblr posts to a HorizonWatching page on Facebook

Today, I got an email from the Tumblr team indicating that I had been blogging a whole year.  I thought I’d use the occasion to introduce you to the HorizonWatching Tumblr blog and provide you with some direct links to some content I have posted on Tumblr. 

So to celebrate the 1st birthday to the HorizonWatching blog at Tumblr, check out some of links to the posts I have embedded below.

A Primer on the Smart Grid and Intelligent Utility Network Trend

Smart Grid2 In a world where increased focus is on reducing CO2 emissions, governments and energy & utility companies are looking for ways to modernize and transform their utility infrastructure in order to improve energy efficiency and reliability. 

For developed economies, the traditional way power has been generated is based on a central generation model with one-way power and information flow from large, often distant generating stations, via transmission and distribution lines to end consumers.   Most of these generation systems contain an aging infrastructure with some equipment dating back 60 years.  This traditional infrastructure lacks sufficient technology and communications at the distribution and end-use level that would enable grid automation & monitoring capabilities.   The model has been a push model, meaning that there is little to no automated information coming back to the central sites from those that use the power.  So if the user suddenly has no power, the only way the utility company knows about it is if they get a call from the users.  Furthermore, the user has very little information available to help them understand how much power they are using, when they are using it, and what they are using it for.

The Smart Grid (also called Intelligent Utility Network) technology is an important emerging trend within the Energy and Utility Industry.  As consumers, we are increasingly aware that the way we consume and save energy can be improved.  Within the energy and utility industry, energy efficiency is also on the minds of the industry leaders.  And our governments are all interested in finding new sources of energy.   By embedding technology into the electrical distribution network, a Smart Grid can transform the way power is distributed and used.  Intelligence throughout the grid can dramatically reduce outages and faults, improve responsiveness, handle current and future demand, increase efficiency and manage costs.

The following video from IEEE will provide some additional introduction into the concept of the Smart Grid.

Produced by IEEE and ScienCentral, Inc.

A Smart Grid can present many opportunities for consumers, businesses, and utilities to benefit from the efficient distribution of energy and availability of intelligent equipment and devices.  For governments, it offers significant opportunities to wisely manage a country’s fuel resources by potentially reducing the need for additional generation sources, better integrating renewable energy sources into the grid’s operations, reducing outages and cascading problems, and enabling users of power to better manage their energy consumption.

The Smart Grid technology will enable energy customers to

  • manage electricity consumption to meet specific household/business goals such as cost, availability, and environmental impact
  • seek energy providers, information, and technologies that help them meet their goals
  • do business with utility companies who communicate a set of energy-related values consistent with their own
  • seek convenient and more personalized ways to interact with their utility to negotiate customized solutions to allow them to meet their needs
  • act on their own wants and needs where regulatory representation does not provide results satisfying these specific needs, primarily through execution of alternative solutions (e.g., self-generation)

So what exactly are the characteristics of a Smart Grid?  The US Department of Energy has characterized a smart grid as having the following attributes:

  • Self-healing from power disturbance events
  • Enabling active participation by consumers in demand response
  • Operating resiliently against physical and cyber attack
  • Providing power quality for 21st century needs
  • Accommodating all generation and storage options
  • Enabling new products, services, and markets
  • Optimizing assets and operating efficiently

The consumer of power from a future Smart Grid will see many differences as a result of adding intelligence into the network.   Some examples are:

  • Smart electricity meters, water meters, and gas meters that collect real-time data on utility usage.
  • Distributed generation, such as solar panels and other micro generation.  These new generators could be located at the home, in the neighborhood, or in the local community.
  • Dedicated energy display units and smart thermostats that provide the user with feedback on energy usage in real-time.
  • Smart appliances with connectivity to the intelligent utility network via the in home meters and display units.
  • Plug-in vehicles as a both source and consumer of energy.  The vehicles, when plugged in would provide information on energy usage.
  • Linked connection to the in-home network and home PCs for further analysis of all the information collected.

The Smart Grid transformation is much more than installation of new technology in a piece-part fashion.  The call for the transformation to a Smart Grid impacts every part of the utility infrastructure including generation, distribution, and usage.  It will be a disruptive change, but a change that will provide huge rewards for the future.  For the utility industry itself, changes needs to happen in four key areas:

  1. Strategy.  We need a  fundamental rethink of business strategy and industry business models across the board.
  2. Collaboration.  Utility providers will need to develop a much closer collaboration with customers, regulators, financers, researchers, technology and service vendors, and other stakeholders than ever before.
  3. People.  The change will be very disruptive to utility companies.  They will need a renewed focus on staff, their roles, competencies, compensation, performance and structure.
  4. Process.  Utility providers will need to re-architect business processes and applications.

There is much work to be done to transform old utility infrastructures to a Smart Grid system.  The transformation will not happen overnight, but could happen over a series of decades.  When complete, countries that transform their utilities infrastructure to an Intelligent Utility Network will have a modern network of sensor-based interactive technologies that will give utilities and consumers unprecedented control over managing energy use, improving energy grid operations, and significantly reducing energy costs. 

There is a ton of information available on Smart Grids.  Here are a few example resources for you to explore….

For other “Primers” here on HorizonWatching, check out http://horizonwatching.typepad.com/horizonwatching/primer/

IBM and SeeClickFix: A Social Collaboration Challenge on the Smarter Cities Scan

seeclickfix challenge

Are you aware of some non-emergency issues going on in your community that if fixed that could help improve the quality of life in your town?  Some examples might be:

  • A dangerous intersection for pedestrians
  • A bike lane that is always blocked
  • An area that always floods whenever it rains
  • A building with broken windows
  • A vacant lot that needs to be cleaned up
  • Potholes on a certain street that never get fixed
  • Cracked sidewalks that need to be fixed
  • Unsafe activity going on in your neighborhood

The SeeClickFix Challenge:

There’s a very interesting crowdsourcing effort going on I thought you might be interested in checking out.  The folks at SeeClickFix have partnered up with IBM’s Smarter Cities Scan in an effort called the “SeeClickFix Challenge on the Smarter Cities Scan”

SeeClickFix empowers residents to actively care for and improve their neighborhoods by engaging them to report on things they think needs to be ‘fixed’ by posting information of those things on the web.  Residents pinpoint the exact location on a map and can upload pictures of the problem.  The IBM Smarter Cities Scan team recognized this service as a novel approach to help us all improve the cities we live in.  So the two teams are now partnering in this unique social collaboration challenge.  The crowdsourcing effort will run from February 8-21 on the Smarter Cities Scan.   And you can participate!

How You Can Participate:

  1. See – spot a non-emergency issue in your neighborhood, go to http://seeclickfix.com/citizens and enter your city name to begin the process
  2. Click – “Report an Issue” to open a ticket describing the issue and what can be done to resolve it
  3. Fix  – Monitor your ticket and the issue you reported to see how your city responded.
  4. Share – Go back to the Smarter Cities Scan site and report on your SeeClickFix experience by sharing your SeeClickFix story.   We want to understand how citizens and  communities put SeeClickFix to new uses in all urban environments.  In the process perhaps we can generate some new ideas on how to make our cities better places to live in.  So please share your story!!

I just entered my first ‘problem’ into the SeeClickFix database for my community and found the process easy.  There’s a walking/bike path in my community that needs repairing in a certain spot.  It is not paved and doesn’t drain well…so it gets all muddy.  The path is just a few feet from a 50mph road and I am worried some runner or biker will slip and fall into traffic. 

Want More Information?

Spread The News!

The more people we have contributing stories, the more we all learn in the process.  Help publicize this collaboration challenge to your social networks via email, Facebook, and Twitter (use tag #seeclickfix).  And If you blog, consider authoring a post about this challenge as I have done here.

IBM IdeaWatch: Innovative Thought Leadership On Intelligent Computing For A Smarter Planet

IBM IdeaWatch I subscribe to IdeaWatch, a monthly e-newsletter sent out by IBM’s Institute for Business Value team.  The newsletter always provides interesting articles.   The articles contain strategic insights and recommendations based on research that IBM’s Institute for Business Value team of analysts and consultants regularly perform.  The articles help me stay informed on the critical issues facing business leaders. 

Today I opened the most recently newsletter in my in-basket.  You can see the full online version at IdeaWatch.  Here’s a list of the articles in the current issue:

As mentioned above, you can access the current version of the e-newsletter online at IdeaWatch.  From that page you can also access all the previous issues.

If you are not yet subscribing to this monthly e-newsletter, I encourage you to do so.  It’s a nice monthly digest that provides with current thought leadership content. To subscribe, you’ll need to go to the subscription center for IBM e-newsletters https://www-931.ibm.com/bin/subscriptions/welcome.cgi?cl=ZZEN and once you register with your email id, you’ll be presented with a list of e-newsletters.   Look for IdeaWatch: Business Perspectives from IBM Global Business Services and select it to subscribe.

A Unique CrowdSourcing Event: The Smarter Cities Scan

Smarter CitiesDo you live in a large urban city or in one of the sprawling suburban environments on the fringes of a large city?

I wanted to make you aware of a really interesting collaboration / social media project launched recently in support of the Smarter Cities effort.  And I wanted to ask for you to participate if you have some time…and/or…ask you to invite people in your network that might want to participate.  Anyone interested in improving the quality of life in large / sprawling urban environments is invited to participate. 

The social media brainstorming project is called the Smarter Cities Scan (http://smartercities.tumblr.com).

For this exercise in collaborative innovation and hive intelligence to succeed, significant numbers of people need to contribute their diverse thinking over the next few months.  That will generate the very large, complex data set that can then be analyzed and processed into a useful model that can then be used to improve urban environments. 

You can find more information on how to participate is attached below.  For more detail behind this project, you can point people to this post   The Smart Cities Scan:  Let's build an open model with shared imagination and deep analytics

How to participate in the Smart Cities Scan

  • From the homepage – http://smartercities.tumblr.com – simply click on Post Your Ideas to start contributing images, video, links, quotes, text or any combination of all of these.  You can even  submit a post by email, or via a mobile phone, by sending your thoughts and ideas to smarterplanet@tumblr.com.
  • You don’t need to have a Tumblr account to submit a post, but please include your city and country and any descriptive tags at the bottom of your post so that your ideas can be tagged for others to find. You can also easily create a free Tumblr account if you like this easy-to-use, multimedia microblogging tool.
  • You‘re always free to scan all posts, search on topics and tags, soak up some of Smarter Cities background and inspiration material in the about section, or find answers in our Help & FAQ section. 

If you want more information, send any suggestions, questions or problems to smarterplanet@tumblr.com

10 Social Media Tools to Navigate Your City

Today out on the Building a Smarter Planet blog (http://asmarterplanet.com/), there is a post by Josh Catone from Mashable titled Smarter Transportation: 10 Social Media Tools to Navigate Your City.  The post contains Josh’s list of social media sites that can help you plan routes from one location in a city to another.  The tools each have their own unique features and benefits….each is different in their own way. 

Here is my summary of Josh’s ten top tools. 

  1. Google Maps  We all know this tool for driving, but did you know it can help you plan a walking route too?  It can also help you find those Starbuck’s along your route.  But Google also offers even more features, like real-time traffic conditions.
  2. Waze  Waze specializes in real-time traffic information, collecting that information from it’s users.
  3. Wayfaring  Another Google Maps mashup, Wayfaring focuses on having users share experiences they had during their trip.
  4. Walk Score     For those people really into walking.  It tells you how ‘walk-friendly’ your route is going to be.
  5. MapMyRide   For those who love to ride bikes, this helps you preview that next ride.  It will even estimate the calories you will burn.
  6. HopStop  If you are into public transportation (trains, buses, subways, etc.) check out this tool. 
  7. Zimride   Josh likes this carpooling tool, which is cleverly integrated with Facebook.  If you are into carpooling, you might also want to check out iCarpool
  8. RideCharge   This tool helps you pre-book a taxi ride via your mobile device.
  9. GasBuddy   This tool delivers up-to-date gas prices, so you can plan out where to get that tank filled-up along your route.
  10. FuelFrog   This site helps you monitor how your car consumes gas, helping you learn how to reduce your fuel consumption.

For much more discussion of these tools, plus links to others, check out Josh’s post at http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2009/09/smarter-transportation-10-social-media-tools-to-navigate-your-city.html

Smarter Cities Prediction Market

My colleagues at IBM have asked me to invite you to participate in a unique prediction market experiment called the “Smarter Cities Predictive Idea Markets”.  

Prediction Markets harness the collective intelligence of a community to gain predictive insight, and often even outperform the experts – as was the case in the 2008 US Presidential election.  They utilize stock market principles where participants get play money to “trade” ideas.

IBM’s Smarter Cities Predictive Idea Markets will allow you, along with other thought leaders, to further explore questions, ideas and opportunities that emerged and help determine which ideas may have the greatest chance for success. 

Participation is easy. Just visit the Smarter Cities Predictive Idea Markets http://smartercities.ibm.spigit.com Web site and register.  Once you’re registered, you can choose a market and begin making trades. The markets are open till September 13th, 2009 11:59 EDT.   Please feel free to share this invitation with other individuals that might be interested in participating – all submissions will remain confidential and only aggregated trading results will be shared across the community.

Complete details are on the Smarter Cities Predictive Idea Markets Web site.  Participation requires less than 5 minutes and every participant will receive a full set of results and insights at the beginning of October. 

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to take part in this experiment, share your insights, and see the collective opinions of your peers on the future of Smarter Cities. 

New IBM Commercials Highlight Smarter Planet Issues

imageIBM has just launched five new TV commercials in conjunction with the US Open tennis tournament. 

The TV commercials support IBM’s strategic Smarter Planet campaign, so there is a little selling going on in the videos.  However, these are important emerging trends, so here you go.

  • Cloud – Message:  Workstations used to be tied to a mainframe. Now they're conversing with a cloud.
  • Secure Collaboration -  Message:  The choice between being open and being secure isn't a choice anymore. Collaboration is the key to business on a smarter planet, but you need to make sure your business is protected.
  • Oil -  Message:   Energy is one of the world's most vital resources.  How we extract, use and preserve this resource is vital to our future.
  • Water -  Message:  Water is something we all take for granted, but there is a limited amount in the world. Smarter water management is necessary to ensure our farms, factories and businesses continue to have access to safe, high quality water.
  • Public Safety – Message:  Cities all over the world are getting smarter.  By collecting, analyzing and sharing data, your city can be safer, too.

I really like the creative look and feel of these commercials.  I understand there was a bunch of research that went into them.   While I believe the commercials will appeal to the public at large, they are obviously designed to target the IT audience, line of business leaders and CXOs. 

For more on IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative, check out http://www.ibm.com/ibm/ideasfromibm/us/smartplanet/index.shtml