Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

IBM to use M2M tech to fight air pollution in Beijing

Iain Morris
July 10, 2014
IT giant IBM has begun collaborating with authorities in China on an initiative aimed at tackling Beijing’s air pollution challenges through the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

IBM (Armonk, NY, USA) will support a Chinese government program to reduce air pollution, with Beijing set to invest more than $160 billion in improving air quality, reducing the harmful so-called “fine Particulate Matter particles” by 25% by 2017.

The company says it will develop a system that allows authorities to pinpoint the type, source and level of emissions, and to predict air quality in the city.

IBM’s computing systems will be able to analyze real-time data generated by air quality monitoring stations, meteorological satellites and optical sensors – all connected using IoT technology.

The plan is to create visual maps showing the source and dispersion of pollutants across Beijing.

“As a leader in climate modelling, cognitive computing and predictive analytics, IBM Research can provide a lot of value to Beijing and other Chinese cities which are facing significant pressure to better monitor, respond to and address air pollution issues,” said Tao Wang, the resident scholar for the energy and climate program at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. “Science-based decision support systems combined with sophisticated data analysis is exactly what the Chinese government needs to address the country’s energy and environmental issues.”

IBM says that with accurate and real-time data about Beijing’s air quality, authorities will be able to address environmental issues by adjusting production at factories or alerting citizens about developing air quality issues.

“The Chinese government is taking bold steps to transform the country’s energy and environmental structures,” said Xiaowei Shen, the director of IBM Research for China. “IBM is here to help and through Green Horizon we are committed to deploying our most advanced technologies and best talent from around the world.”
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