Epcot at Walt Disney World Unveils Smarter Planet by IBM

Epcot IBM Smarter Planet

Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida recently opened a new interactive exhibit in Innoventions West – Smarter Planet, presented by IBM.  The exhibit allows guests to discover the global impact of individual and collective conservation efforts.  Check out this video:

SmarterPlanet presented by IBM offers visitors to the park a “behind-the-scenes” glimpse of how technology is helping solve the world’s most complex problems – from reducing road traffic and city crime to improving food safety and local water supplies.

The experience encourages guests to think about their individual role in creating a smarter planet as well as understand how smarter data centers are the heart of a more sustainable, technology-enabled world.

For example, hands-on 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 appliance while not in use homeowners can save cash, up to $286 every year; or how smarter food systems track the temperatures of foods 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.

Hands-On Interactive Kiosks teach guests about the societal and technological implications of creating a Smarter Planet

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 also email their personalized version of the game to any computer, extending the Runtime experience to their home.

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 the 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 new SmarterPlanet experience brings to life the many ways in which IBM technologies are invisibly woven into the way people live, work and play,” said Gary Cohen, IBM General Manager, Global Communications Sector. “The objective is for guests to walk away understanding how forward-thinking solutions can solve our greatest societal problems, and the increasing role technology will play in improving the quality of life for people across the world.”

SmarterPlanet presented by IBM also serves as a key venue for several of IBM’s community outreach programs, including Engineers Week, an annual program created by The National Engineers Week Foundation to reach out to current and future generations of engineering talent. The Engineers Week program, which IBM has hosted at its exhibit since 2000, engages visiting elementary school children in activities designed to inspire and motivate them to excel in math and science. The program also seeks to reduce the digital divide, especially for children from low-income communities where access to computers and technology may be limited at home and in school. This year, IBM will host Engineers Week April 13-15, 2010.


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