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January 12, 2010

Sam Palmisano's speech in London

(Sam Palmisano is IBM COB)

Being a former IBM'er is kinda like being a former Marine -- you remain one for life. Even though I left IBM around 15 years ago I still follow the company and maintain contact with a lot of people I knew and worked with.

Normally speeches by IBM executive types are kinda dry and not too exciting, I certainly slept through my share back in the day. But this one Palmisano gave in London is a little different - mostly because I agree with almost everything he's saying...at least on a conceptual level, although maybe not with all the specifics.

In a nutshell, what he talks about is how the world, its infrastructure, commerce mechanisms, etc will start to become "smarter" and more connected in the years to come and a lot more autonomous and adaptive. Sam largely focuses on the cheap/pervasive compute power and internet'ish connection aspects, savings to business/govt/etc.

I believe its going to go beyond that into the realm of adaptive materials we build "stuff" out of too. Adaptive in ways that don't require much if any compute power or connection to anything. Tentative "baby step" materials like the (now) commonly available TiO window films that pass visible light but largely reflect IR are one example. Its not unreasonable to expect in the future, we'll have a window film that can alter its IR reflectivity.

Adaptive industrial/commercial materials combined with the fine grained pervasive adaptive computational stuff Palmisano talks of could be a pretty powerful concept.

The whole Palmisano talk is here. Its worth a read.

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posted by Purp at 10:18 PM

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