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Sensors and the City: IBM Exhibit Visualizes Today's Urban Problems--and Potential Solutions [Slide Show]

The IBM "Think" exhibit analyzes data to create virtual representations of wasted drinking water, solar-energy potential, traffic snarls, air quality and credit card transactions in and around New York City

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1964 WORLD'S FAIR:

For the 1964 World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., Charles and Ray Eames designed the IBM exhibition as a dome resembling an IBM electric typewriter ball from the era, albeit with only the letters I, B and M.....[ More ]

VIDEO FOREST:

In a small theater with wall-to-wall mirrors on either side, there are 20 monolithic video columns, each 2.4 meters tall and 1.2 meters wide. They are arranged in clusters that immerse the audience for a 10-minute film highlighting scientific and technological progress in areas including space exploration, personalized medicine, traffic management and agriculture around the world.....[ More ]

TRACKING FRAUD:

The exhibit also tracks credit- and debit-card transactions throughout the city. Although they are rendered anonymous when reported, such data can be instructive, given how many of these exchanges are fraudulent.....[ More ]

AIR QUALITY:

IBM installed a particulate-matter sensor at the exhibit site to augment information the city already has about air quality. When combined with traffic data, the air quality maps can be used to determine the areas of the city most affected by pollution ( see lower right inset ).....[ More ]

SOLAR POTENTIAL:

IBM's exhibit also uses information, collected by itself and city agencies, to visualize the city's potential to collect solar energy via all of the rooftops in Manhattan.....[ More ]

TRAFFIC FLOW:

IBM mounted cameras atop Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall that monitor traffic flow at Columbus Avenue and Broadway. The wall uses a moving line ( see lower right inset ) to represent traffic data. ....[ More ]

WATER WASTED:

More than 37,800 liters of water is lost via leakage every minute as it flows through New York State's aqueducts into the city, according to IBM. The wall visualizes a calculation of that volume of water corresponding to the volume of the data wall.....[ More ]

THINK:

IBM's "Think" exhibit, on display at New York City's Lincoln Center through October 23, is one of several ways the company is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year.....[ More ]

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