If IBM Research's only accomplishment had been introducing the world to a Jeopardy!-winning computer called Watson, it could rest on some pretty impressive laurels.
But for more than 60 years, as one of the world's most distinguished corporate research facilities, IBM Research (US) has worked with partners and clients to help shape the future of business, government, academia and society. And the wonders keep coming.
Nanotech. Clean water. Web privacy and accessibility. Studying the planet and creating innovative solutions for our cities, environment, businesses and lives. For nearly 3,000 researchers, the world — the universe — is a laboratory, and every breakthrough has a connection to the next.
However people interact with each other and with technology, the award-winning engineers, scientists and technology professionals of IBM Research are inventing ways to make things work better. Safer. Smarter.
A few recent projects
Overcoming antibiotic-resistent bacteria
Semiconductor technology hardly seems the place to start when fighting the battle against stubborn, deadly bacteria. But the discovery that combining specific materials into targeted nanostructures (US) that can destroy infected cells without damaging nearby healthy cells has brought new hope for health.
Virtual 'data detectives' take on financial fraud
The transactions of the past can fight identity theft in the future. The financial industry loses US$80 billion annually from large-scale financial fraud. To stay ahead of felonious activity, the industry uses machine-learning technologies to detect fraudulent transaction patterns (US) in realtime and stop such crime before it happens.
Atomic-scale magnetic memory
The computing system you're working on stores one bit of data in about 1 million atoms. With atomic-scale magnetic memory (US), a million is reduced to 12. By studying the behaviour of atoms, researchers have identified crucial factors for building smaller, faster and more energy-efficient devices for business and consumers.
The amount of data collected worldwide in a single second is staggering, as are the analytics and computing power needed to process it into usable information. Cognitive computing systems (US), which mimic the human brain’s ability to sense and respond, can solve complex problems in realtime using far less energy than today’s systems consume.
Why aren't we all driving battery-powered cars, since that was the most popular type in the nascent automotive world? In a phrase: range anxiety, the fear of a run-down battery nowhere near a charging station. The Battery 500 (US) project aims to overcome that problem by employing lightweight, earth-friendly lithium-air to propel family-sized cars 500 miles on a single charge.
If you have an iPhone, you can be a citizen scientist. Using the crowdsourcing Creek Watch app, you can report crucial data about your local river or stream to council officials. Your smart phone's GPS pinpoints the location, and its camera provides the pictoral evidence. All you have to do is answer three multiple choice questions.