IBM reveals how its IT infrastructure may impact consumers in the next decade

Engineers and IBM’s software development centre at Hursley have outlined how their technologies are likely to impact consumers as they go about their daily lives in the next 5-10 years.

According to IBM, many cars and city buses will no longer rely on fossil fuels as vehicles will begin to run on new battery technology that won’t need to be recharged for days or months at a time.

IBM says it is working to design new batteries that will make it possible for electrical vehicles to travel 300-500 miles on a single charge, up from 50 to 100 miles currently.

Smart grids in cities could enable cars to be charged in public places and use renewable energy. IBM and Denmark-based EDISON research consortium are currently developing an intelligent infrastructure to enable the large scale adoption of electric vehicles powered by sustainable energy.

Additionally, IBM is currently working with organisations such as the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s (NTI) Global Health and Security Initiative and the Middle East Consortium on Infectious Disease Surveillance (MEDIDS), to standardise the method of sharing health information and analyse infectious disease outbreaks.

The company is working on systems and tools to better track, prepare for, and prevent infections – such as a ‘health internet’ – where anonymous medical information, contained in electronic health records, will be securely shared to head off the spread of disease and keep people healthier.

IBM is also working with regions and cities – such as Malta – where they are part of a consortium to reduce water waste by up to 50 percent. IBM is providing advanced analytics to make more proactive decisions, cutting water management expense, reducing energy-usage, and providing cleaner water.

Additionally, interactive meters and sensors will be integrated into the water and energy systems, providing you with real time, accurate information about water consumption. The company hopes to expand this to other cities.

Moreover, IBM researchers are exploring concepts such as carbon footprint gift cards for everyday purchases in return for reducing an individual’s carbon footprint. Consumers will be able to buy and trade credits in Internet auction marketplaces to offset their daily carbon footprint – based on the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

IBM is also helping emergency services, such as the New York Fire Department – where they are building a system for collecting and sharing data in real-time that potentially can prevent fires and protect rescuers.

All of these technologies, according to IBM, can be achieved with their Websphere MQ middleware messaging architecture – which has been developed at their Hursley laboratories.

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