In the recent Silicon Valley "SMARTCamp" competition which concluded on September 9th at the Quadrus Center on Sand Hill Road, IBM selected not one but two winners, chosen from five local finalists. Both winners seemed natural picks for IBM, a business data and services computing powerhouse. Both hold promise for high-growth data management – applications which we at InnovatingSMART anticipate will be deployed responsibly.
One co-winner was CareCloud, which offers a low-cost way to maximize physician collaboration and productivity. We agree that treatment players need to collaborate and share information better with each other and with their patients. We caution that security in this sensitive area be handled effectively, and that appropriate privacies be maintained at the boundaries between doctors/patients and the insurance companies who service them. We further hope CareCloud will lead to more paperless operations within our health care systems, and lead to improved overall effectiveness of care.
The second co-winner, StreetLine, enables smart-phone users to find nearby parking, while also simplifying meter-feeding and, most notably, expired-meter-ticketing. Beyond stratifying the parking playing-field and increasing the revenues collected by the city, we hope to see StreetLine deliver on its potential for real social benefits to consumers and citizens at large. In addition to this initial application, StreetLine sensors and communications capabilities could be deployed to create smarter traffic flows and resource utilization for all vehicle types, and could be the start of smarter streets for all.
We appreciated seeing the other 3 finalists included in the mix. Elegant and potent each in their own way, we hope to see these technologies widely deployed:
iFind Systems: These livestock management sensors (i.e. ear tags) are cleverly powered by the animals’ own body heat. We’d like to see this insight applied broadly; we visualize similar body-powered sensors being used to monitor and protect living beings ranging from endangered-wildlife to soldiers-in-danger and beyond.
Aquacue: This technology turns any water meter into a smart meter. As resource management is key for the 21st century, we love to see water-management infrastructure at every level and scale.
CitySourced: This technology provides a citizen engagement platform, using city dwellers' own eyes, ears and mobile communication devices. We like this elegant connection between camera-phones on-the-ground and services departments at City Hall. We do caution these inventors to be on the alert for spam, which could bring city services to their knees instead of reducing their load as intended. We also encourage them to outreach to communities beyond cities – counties, regions, factories and other operations – to further extend the eyes and ears of a collaborative citizenry. Like all great inventions, this one can be abused; we hope the users of this technology will resist the temptation to design tools that would compromise individuals’ privacy.
We applaud IBM’s support of SMART innovation. We look to IBM and other very large multi-national companies to use their market reach and their worldwide operations to deploy SMART innovation throughout their product offerings and throughout their own operations and supply chains. For worldwide sustainability to be achieved, it must be applied effectively on a grand scale.