IBM plugs sensors in for shipping, power grid

Making industry cleaner is, to an extent, a data problem. Two IBM projects rely on data-gathering sensors to make shipping and electricity distribution more efficient.

Updated on April 3 at 11:55 am PDT with corrected company name spelling.

IBM is working on two projects that rely on data-gathering sensors to improve energy efficiency.

On Thursday, IBM and Japanese company Omron announced they have developed a system to attach Omron's sensors onto shipping equipment in Japan.

As part of its "smarter planet" initiative, IBM has developed software to calculate the best routes to reduce costs and carbon emissions using travel information from the sensors. IBM says that the manufacturing and transportation industries account for half of all energy use.

In a separate smart-grid project with EnergyAustralia, IBM said on Tuesday it plans to equip hardware along the electricity distribution grid, such as transformers and substations, with sensors.

The 12,000 sensors will be designed to signal to utilities when there is an outage or when a distribution point is in danger of being knocked out of service.

As in the Japanese project, IBM servers and software will gather and analyze data to help EnergyAustralia more efficiently manage electricity along the grid.

Autoplay: ON Autoplay: OFF