Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Blame It On Rio

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IBM CEO Sam Palmisano attended a forum in Rio de Janeiro today which had a special focus on Latin America and the world's growth markets, and which convened forward-thinking government and business leaders to examine real-world approaches on how cities can tackle serious urban issues and improve the quality of life of their citizens.

Rio de Janeiro.  One of my favorite cities in the world.

The land of churrascaria (eat meat until you tell them to stop feeding it to you!) and caipirinhas, Ipanema and Copacabana beaches…oh, man, I’d better stop daydreaming.

True story: I was giving a presentation in an IBM building one time in Rio, and the view behind the people I was presenting to was breathtaking.  I was presenting to a crowd of IBMers with the backdrop of the Cristo Redentor statue atop Corcovado, when someone had the big idea of closing the curtains because the view was too distracting!

Flash forward to today: With both the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2014 World Cup being hosted in Brazil, IBM has partnered with the city of Rio de Janeiro to add new capabilities that improve the city’s emergency response system (not much unlike what IBM did for the City of Madrid), and also to give Rio citizens access to information that will help them better manage their daily lives.

The new automated alert system will notify city officials and emergency personnel when changes occur in the flood and landslide forecast. This is expected to dramatically reduce emergency response times using mobile communications.  Details of these expanded capabilities were revealed today at SmarterCities Rio, a two-day forum hosted by IBM Chairman, President and CEO Samuel J. Palmisano.

With a special focus on Latin America and the world’s growth markets, the forum convenes forward-thinking government and business leaders to examine real-world approaches on how cities can tackle serious urban issues and improve the quality of life of their citizens.


Also in Rio today, IBM announced the finalists for its SmartCamp in Brazil.

IBM’s Smart Camp, scheduled for November 10th and 11th in Rio, brings startups together with senior government and business leaders from Latin America’s most progressive cities to mentor them and examine how we can spur economic development, modernize infrastructures and transform our cities to create a new urban model. The five finalists have developed technology solutions that address some of the world’s most pressing issues – such as traffic, healthcare and food safety.

The SmartCamp in Brazil is the most recent of nine global SmartCamps this year. The winner will be invited to the next SmartCamp World Finals to square off against other winners from around the globe to claim the title of “IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Here are the finalists from Brazil:

  • Easy Taxi: With Easy Taxi’s mobile transportation solution people can call a taxi with a click on their smartphone. The application locates and calls the nearest taxi, calculates the fare and processes the payment online.
  • IDXP: IDXP’s consumer behavior solution installs sensors in stores and shopping carts to help retailers understand consumer behavior in real time.
  • Mobwise: Mobwise’s mobile application combines various sources of information on traffic conditions including real time data generated by users to suggest best routes and to offer rewards and discounts at partner establishments.
  • Opara: Opara‘s food traceability system for fruit monitors the entire production chain, from farm to supermarket shelf, in a more automated fashion and allows for food origination tracking end-to-end.
  • Prime Health: Prime Health uses business analytics to help improve patient health and reduce the cost of treating chronic diseases.

The event will be webcast November 10 and 11 at www.livestream.com/ibmsoftware. You can also follow the action on People for a Smarter Planet on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/9S1Jp8, and share your thoughts on Twitter at #IBMSmartCamp.

Consider this the official point at which I volunteer to fly down to Rio to be a judge.

Viva Brasil!

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