[SEOUL=Whowired] December 21, 2011 -- According to the World Energy Outlook 2010, electricity demand is expected to grow at 2.2 percent per year to 2035. This demand, combined with increasing populations, rise of electric vehicles, and inefficient infrastructures, will add more strain to the electricity grid. By engaging and empowering the consumer to make smarter energy decisions, the industry can further focus on accelerating innovation cycles and developing new programs that will help create a sustainable energy infrastructure.
In order to achieve this, it comes to down to ease and simplicity for the consumer. Today’s consumers are motivated by convenience, comfort, cost and the notion of being digitally connected, either by a smartphone or Web device – and the energy consumer is no exception. They understand the need to conserve but require the right tools and information to help make smart energy choices. Think about using a digital device and application to synchronize your appliances including your vehicle or, simply attaching a small device and an uncharged battery to the spokes of your bicycle wheels to determine how much energy was created and being able to capture and use this energy to potentially flick on the light in your home? The possibilities seem endless.
IBM Research is leading a new pilot project alongside EKZ, an electricity utility provider in Switzerland that will allow consumers to conveniently charge their electric vehicles (EV) and monitor energy costs, using a small device and Web-based application that can run on most smartphones, tablets and Web browsers. Users can also check the vehicle’s battery level, range of travel distance, vehicle location, charge schedule and current energy costs in real time. The application will alleviate range anxiety by allowing owners to program and start battery charge at a future point time when rates are lower or a long haul trip is planned.
Complimenting this project, IBM researchers, along with national labs and other organizations, are working to develop the next generation lithium-air battery technology that will allow an electric car to travel 500 miles on a single charge. This will deliver ten times the energy available from the top lithium-ion batteries on the market today, reducing the need for constant charging throughout the day.
But the energy we create ourselves isn’t just limited to our cars – it’s also in our homes. The home is a hub for energy, housing consumer electronics, kitchen devices, and air-conditioners, to name a few. However, how often do we think about the connection between energy and water or air quality, windows or even your sneakers? Yes sneakers!
A leading group of academics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released a report on parasitic power collection, the concept of collecting power from human walking motion as one example. According to the report, “the focus is on the walking action as a source of power because of the extensive range of motion and large dynamic forces associated with heel strike and the bending of the sole.” By inserting a small device into the sole of a sneaker and using a small antenna, it would be possible to parasitically generate enough power to charge a cellphone battery. This research will help drive the development of new parasitic power collection devices that will have the capability of pulling and transmitting energy from the slightest movement.
The Ocean contains vast quantities of untapped renewable energy. What if water could be used to power your kitchen appliances? With the right technology and tools, this energy can be harnessed and converted into electricity much in the way that wind energy can. IBM and The Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) are working together to explore this nascent industry, using real-time streaming analytics to monitor underwater noise generated by wave energy conversion devices -- a necessary and important step toward minimizing the environmental impact of converting wave energy into electricity. This collaboration, which seeks to accelerate methods and technologies that enable environmental impact assessment of wave energy conversion devices, represents a significant step toward the ability to successfully and sustainably utilize the ocean as a new renewable energy resource.
IBM is making the grid smarter with approximately 150 active smart grid projects around the world, more than any other consulting and IT company.
- IBM has five core global research labs (Watson, Zurich, India, China and Tokyo) that focus on smart grid, in particular software architecture development, interoperability frameworks, analytics and optimization of energy, cybersecurity, predictive modeling and electric vehicle batteries, to name a few.
- With gas and electricity prices on the rise, consumers are beginning to take notice of energy consumption.
According to the World Energy Outlook 2010, electricity demand is expected to grow at 2.2 percent per annum to 2035
Consumers are using home area networks to automate energy management for their appliances. New energy programs such as demand response, smart appliances and support for energy technology consumerization is becoming more prevalent.
The list of ways to conserve is growing and it isn’t about to stop as new advancements in renewable energy technology become mainstream. Technologies based around solar, wave and wind will not only help lower energy bills, but also impact how consumers live and commute.
- IBM has conducted the “2011 Global Utility Consumer Survey” to better understand the wants and needs of energy consumers worldwide.
- Based on the survey findings, IBM believes that there is a need to go back to basics and educate consumers by examining their behaviors, the channels of communication and their behavioral triggers.
The first step towards activating behavioral change is by acknowledging that consumers are not simply triggered by monetary drivers, but also motivated by benefits such as comfort, sustainability, and confidence in the nation's economic prospects when making decisions about energy use.
By engaging and empowering the consumer to make smarter energy decisions, the industry can further focus on accelerating innovation cycles and developing new programs that will help support the straining power grid and create a sustainable energy infrastructure.
- Today’s consumers are motivated by convenience, comfort, cost and the notion of being digitally connected, either by a smartphone or Web device.
They understand the need to conserve but require the right tools and information to help make smart energy choices.
- Swiss electric utility provider, EKZ, is collaborating with IBM scientists on a pilot project that demonstrates how a smartphone app could be used by consumers to conveniently charge their electric vehicles using renewable resources while also monitoring their energy costs.
The project has the potential to contribute to Switzerland‘s energy policy goal of increasing the proportion of electricity produced from renewable energy by 5,400 gigawatt hours (GWh), or 10 percent of the country’s present-day electricity consumption, by 2030.
According to the latest statistics available, approximately 55.6 percent of Switzerland's overall electricity production comes from renewable sources, with hydropower by far the biggest contributor at more than 96 percent.
- This real-time information will also help utility providers manage power grid loads during peak charging times.
- The Web-based app combined with a data recording device within the vehicle submits data including the vehicle’s battery charge level, location and the power source, to an IBM cloud based on IBM BladeCenters running DB2 and WebSphere every 5 minutes. The Cloud then analyzes the data based on the amount of energy of the grid, current prices and demand forecasts.
The app was designed and developed by IBM scientists in Zurich and a data recording device created by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW).
For the pilot, the device was installed in several electric vehicles, including a Renault Twingo.
To analyze the programmed charging process of electric vehicles with renewable energy, the pilot project takes real-time production data from photovoltaic solar panels located at EKZ’s facility in Dietikon, which then gets transmitted to the app.
If less solar energy is being generated, the charging process can adapt automatically.
- Using this data, the app can offer price points to the consumers who can choose, based on price and need, when to charge their vehicle based on the battery level by checking their device.
- The app is currently being tested by EKZ employees with hope that it will generate enough demand to role out the service to consumers in the near future.
Battery 500 Project
- The switch from gasoline to electricity as the primary power source for vehicles stands to be one of the most important technology shifts of the first half of the 21st century.
- Recognizing this, scientists at IBM Research – Almaden started the Battery 500 Project in 2009 to develop a lithium-air battery that could travel 500 miles on a single charge.
- For most people, switching to electric vehicles largely equates to saving money on gas and contributing to a healthier environment by reducing carbon emissions. But as it turns out, the short range of electric vehicle battery power (100 miles) has been the true barrier to adoption, and is an issue that requires technical expertise beyond the automotive industry.
- Scientists and researchers around the world have been exploring battery technologies that could improve electric vehicle performance - all in favor of sustainable transportation and a better environment.
- This research is being done in conjunction with other Battery 500 collaborators, including Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest Laboratory and international commercial partners.
- A leading group of academics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released a report on parasitic power collection, the concept of collecting power from human walking motion as one example.
This report stemmed from the increase in wearable electronic devices and therefore the need for portable power sources to keep them operating.
The researchers believed that a better option for many applications would be to generate power parasitically from everyday motion, reducing the need to carry stored energy in batteries.
- They found that the largest usable source of waste energy is that dissipated into the ground and shoes while walking.
According to the report, “the focus is on the walking action as a source of power because of the extensive range of motion and large dynamic forces associated with heel strike and the bending of the sole.”
- By inserting a small device into the sole of a sneaker and using a small antenna, it would be possible to parasitically generate enough power to charge a cellphone battery.
Calculations show that when walking quickly, a person can generate up to 67W (68kg person at 2steps per sec. and 5cm of deflection).
- This research will help drive the development of new parasitic power collection devices that will have the capability of pulling and transmitting energy from the slightest movement.
Other home saving options
- There is no doubt that consumers are concerned about the energy consumption in their homes. Many have made significant improvements to reduce usage and cost by buying energy efficient appliances, programming thermostats and other consumer electronics, etc. However, as technology develops, consumers will have more options to make significant changes.
With solar technology and cloud forecasting analytics, consumers will optimize energy usage by pre-cooling a home or building based on cloud location.
New design devices such as automatic curtains, consumers will have the power to control sun exposure by syncing their curtains with cloud movements. This technology will allow building occupants to lower consumption by charging their smart devices during low peak times.
Today, outside air is not clean enough to be used for inside ventilation so many consumers are resorting alternative, costly methods of cooling. By using by environmental analytics and sensors, citizens, building operators and healthcare providers will benefit from improved air quality management.
According to the World Health Organization, 2.4 million people die each year from air pollution with 1.5 million of these deaths attributable to indoor air pollution.
You will never need a password again.
Your biological makeup is the key to your individual identity, and soon, it will become the key to safeguarding it.
Each person has a unique biological identity and behind all that is data. Biometric data – facial definitions, retinol scans and voice files – that can be composited through software to build your DNA unique online password or security profile.
Imagine you will be able to walk up to an ATM machine to securely withdraw money by simply speaking your name or looking into the camera. And you can do the same to check your account balance off your smartphone or tablet. You will never need to create, track or remember multiple passwords for various log-ins again.
Mobility is the biggest concern for security and authentication. As devices move from the desktop to your pocket, it becomes easier for a device to get lost or stolen and for your information to fall into the wrong hands. When these things happen, it becomes even more important that a system can quickly verify and authorize that the device is being used by the right person.
IBM scientists have developed technologies that use speech recognition to determine and authenticate user identities based on voice analysis and are now incorporating other biometrics such as face, iris and gesture to leverage for security benefits.
Referred to as multifactor biometrics, smarter systems will be able to aggregate this data in real-time to make sure whenever someone is attempting to access your information, it matches your unique biometric profile and it is authentic. To be trusted, such systems should enable you to opt in or out of whatever information you choose to provide.
Mind reading for Intelligence
Mind reading is no longer science fiction
From Houdini to Skywalker to X-Men telepathy has merely been “wishful thinking” for science fiction fans for decades, but their wish may soon come true.
Scientists in the field of bioinformatics have designed headsets with advanced sensors able to recognize the facial expressions, subconscious feelings and intentions of a person without them physically taking any actions.
The EPOC headset, available from Emotiv Lifesciences, looks like a cool black tentacle-wielding octopus sitting on your head, but it can actually read brain impulses. So for example, if you see a square on your computer screen and you think about moving it to the left, it will. Moving computer objects on a screen is even possible today and consumers can purchase the headset for only $299.00.
Scientists believe that within 5 years we will begin to see early applications of the technology in the gaming and entertainment industry and healthcare. PC games are an obvious choice, but doctors could also use the technology to test brain patterns, improve training methods for children with ADHD, assist in rehabilitation and to help understand and manage brain disorders such as autism and epilepsy.
Working with its partner, Emotiv Lifesciences, IBM scientists are developing software to link these headsets to devices, such as computers and smartphones, so you just need to think about emailing or calling a colleague and it happens.
And one day, if you want to type something, no need to say a word or hit single key -- echoing the famous IBM motto, just think.
The digital divide will cease to exist.
The global economy is made up of information haves and “have nots” – those with, and those without, immediate access to knowledge, skills or technology. The trend today is that those with more money have access to the Internet and technology capabilities and the working class and poor can’t afford this access. As our jobs, entertainment, retail and healthcare move online, millions are at risk of being left behind.
There is a new paradigm shift occurring within the mobile industry. The price of mobile devices is coming down and access to these devices is more prominent. Today, half the world’s population uses a mobile a phone and more than a quarter of the population utilizes the Internet.
Mobile technology is how the digital divide is being bridged. Just five years ago, phones were seen as voice devices, not data or information devices with applications as they are today. Those who have quick access to these tools are poised to be more self-sustaining and successful economically.
Spurring investments in communications and information technology infrastructure can not only provide a short-term boost to world and regional economies, but also lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth and significant improvement in overall quality of life. In the U.S. for example, a broadband stimulus package that supports $10 billion of investment in one year in broadband networks will support an estimated 498,000 new U.S. jobs for a year.
In the short term, digital stimulus investments will expand broadband Internet access in rural areas and create immediate jobs in construction. In the long term, IBM supports the theory that investment in broadband networks, including the technologies and services that support them, will lead to the creation and expansion of new industries, effectively driving net new economic growth.
But the digital divide will slowly erode across continents as well. Currently, mobile phones represent more than 90% of all telephone lines in Africa. For many African nations where large numbers of the population live in rural areas, mobile phones can serve as a tool for bringing education, health, information and other services close to home. In addition, applications designed specifically for the needs of these countries, such as applications to help manage chronic diseases and other health issues, are emerging as mobility spreads further around the continent.
In developing nations, significant improvements in national and international fiber infrastructure and the emergence of wireless broadband in recent years are now bringing the Internet to a wider parts of the world’s populations, and this is opening the way to advanced online applications and services and a convergence of telecommunications with digital media.
One most also consider the future of the mobile phone. One day, it will serve as your pocket GPS, a wallet, a portable hard drive, a camera, an entertainment center, a phone book, personal shopping consultant. It will have evolved completely into a personal concierge as well as conduct business transactions for you
Because of this reliance on mobile phones, we will see a drastic change in the world. As emerging economies move online at earth-shattering rates, and mobile phone adoption continues to rise, in five years there will be no digital divide..
Increasingly, the world will turn to mobile for all needs – governments will communicate with the public, health workers will be able to make diagnoses remotely, office workers will conduct virtual business meetings, and consumers will make payments and conduct shopping from their mobile phones. By bridging the digital divide, we will have enabled new solutions and business models such as microfinance and mobile banking and differences between cultures and economies will disappear as we’re working together in a smarter, more connected planet.
IBM is working in partnership with clients, businesses and communities to expand mobile phone services around the globe. Over the past two years, IBM has been engaged in a major program of geographic expansion across the continent, announcing a number of strategic office openings and customer engagements, placing it in an excellent position to leverage the explosion of growth in this market. Last fall, India’s Bharti Group and IBM announced that IBM will work with Bharti to integrate and run IT operations for mobile phone services in 16 African countries, including operations in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana.
Among other things, it likely will hasten the spread of affordable mobile phone services to millions of people who today can’t easily make or receive a phone call.
Last year, IBM was selected to increase broadband services for Australia – a vast and geographically complicated and diverse continent. By tapping into IBM's broad range of technology and business solutions for communications service providers – software, hardware and services across analytics and business intelligence, service delivery, and asset management - the National Broadband Network is poised to reach its goal to connect 93 percent of all Australian premises with high-speed, fiber-based communications services by 2018, and wireless and satellite to the remaining 7 percent.
IBM is working hand-in-hand with the world’s providers to close the gap and bridge the divide that currently exists between the haves and have-nots.
Junk Mail Will Become Priority Mail.
Think about how often we’re flooded with advertisements we consider to be irrelevant or unwanted. It may not be that way for long.
In five years, unsolicited advertisements may feel so personalized and relevant it may seem spam is dead.
IBM believes soon machines will be engaging in perpetual sensemaking, where the machine is looking for information without the human. When such systems come across new information of specific relevance it will be presented to the user. As a result, the emails or ads delivered to you on your smartphone will no longer feel like spam, each and every one will feel so relevant and personalized, it will be as if you have a new best friend.
Search engines have revolutionized the ease at which humans can access information. What comes next is the data will find the data, and the relevance finds you. This will be essential in part because it is impractical to think that there will be enough humans to ask every smart question every day. Rather systems can help ask the questions for you.
When you’re driving home at the end of the work day, current weather and road conditions will be taken into account to suggest a detour – delivered to you courtesy of you cell phone. You did not even have to ask.
Eventually enough trust will be built between you and your smartphone that you will no longer have to make ordinary purchases. You will specify a budget and purchases will be made for you based on very high quality predictions about your interest.
This will all be possible through IBM’s advanced analytics and big data technology along with new innovations such as analytic sensemaking engines.
News Source: 한국IBM
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