IBM has unveiled a smarter-planet exhibit at Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park. The exhibit is powered by a new Smarter Data Center, providing a real-life demonstration of optimized computing that reduces energy costs by up to 25 percent.
SmarterPlanet offers visitors behind-the-scenes glimpse of how technology helps solve the world’s most complex problems, from reducing traffic and crime to improving food safety and local water supplies.
The experience encourages guests to think about their individual roles in creating a smarter planet and to understand how smarter data centers are the heart of a more sustainable, technology-enabled world.
Interactive kiosks offer guests a match game that reveals societal and technological implications of creating a smarter planet. Guests will discover how more than two billion people are using mobile phones to open and use bank accounts for the first time; or that only 11 percent of the United States money supply is cash; or that by unplugging household appliances not in use, homeowners can save up to $286 yealry; or how smarter food systems track food temperatures from one location to another to prevent spoilage. From the same kiosks, guests can take a Smarter Planet poll and compare their answers with those of other visitors.
The exhibit also features Runtime, created by Walt Disney Imagineering, which transforms guests into personalized avatars as part of the video game experience. Players run, jump and dance through a timeline of IBM’s achievements in the history of computing, journeying from the Babbage computer, through vacuum tubes and chips and bits, to the Internet. Guests can e-mail their personalized version of the game to any computer, extending the Runtime experience to their homes.
Smarter Data Center
The exhibit’s glass storefront invites guests to peek into a functional IBM Smarter Data Center, responsible for running the SmarterPlanet exhibit and demonstrating the advanced technology required as part of a smarter-planet transformation.
In addition to providing the computer power for the exhibit, the Smarter Data Center will donate unused computing resources to the World Community Grid to help in various types of medical, humanitarian and environmental research. This project joins together thousands of individual computers worldwide, establishing a large system with massive computational power equivalent to a supercomputer, thereby reducing research time from decades to months.
The Smarter Data Center also includes an IBM Cloudburst demonstration environment. This emerging and massively scalable compute model allows a data center to rapidly deploy a workload with a high degree of integration, flexibility and resource optimization. It also helps to drive down costs and accelerate time to market for businesses.
The exhibit also serves as a key venue for several of IBM’s community-outreach programs, including Engineers Week, an annual program to reach out to current and future generations of engineering talent.