IBM bolsters green sensor portfolio

IBM accelerated its push into the smart grid and clean technology space today, with the launch of a new software suite designed to analyse data collected from interconnected sensors, such as those used to control lighting, water flow rates, road traffic or the flow of energy across power grids.

IBM said the new WebSphere Sensor Events software captures sensor data and connects it to a company's business process management system, allowing it to automate responses to the data by following pre-set rules.

"Sensors serve as an instrument for giving a voice to physical objects, allowing them to communicate important information in an increasingly interconnected world," said Martin Wildberger, IBM sensor solutions vice president. "By capturing and analysing information from sensors, clients are infusing their operations with unprecedented levels of intelligence and agility. "

The software is likely to sit at the centre of many of IBM's high-profile smart grid, intelligent building and supply chain projects, which aim to curb carbon emissions by allowing firms to automatically track and optimise their operations.

For example, the installation of sensors and management software as part of a smart grid would allow utilities to automatically turn off non-essential appliances such as washing machines and freezers during periods of peak energy demand. Similarly, light sensors are increasingly being used to automatically ensure lights are turned off when they are not needed.

IBM said that WebSphere Sensor Events also includes business event processing technology derived from the company's 2008 acquisition of AptSoft Corporation, as well as business process management and events management capabilities from WebSphere and Tivoli software.

The company also claimed that the technology is being used by food manufacturers and suppliers to trace the sources of food-borne illness in the US.

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