On a recent episode of This Week On developerWorks®, Scott Laningham interviewed Aly Cabral from the IBM® Mobile Innovation Lab, where the team focuses not just on smartphones and tablets, but on the digitization of the physical world. Check out their interview below.
Aly is on a team that develops a suite of apps called “IBM Ready Apps,” which Aly describes as:
“A suite of apps which [IBM] has open sourced that allow developers to accelerate their process in getting up and running with Bluemix® services. They are also very industry specific. We’re focusing on innovative use cases from industries like insurance, venues, retail. We have seven industries that we’ve covered. And we are targeting IBM technologies that you might not have thought of integrating into those industries.”
Aly was personally involved in the following IBM Ready Apps.
IBM Ready App for Venue: This app lets you do location tracking and analytics based on your surroundings. It shows you all the nearby points of interest at an amusement park, for example, as well as the location of all your friends. The app also has gamification features that lets you earn various badges while using the app.
IBM Ready App for Insurance: This app is based on the Internet of Things (IoT) Foundation and being able to track assets in your home. For example, if your hot water heater is overflowing, you’d know about it sooner and be able to react to it more quickly, lowering your insurance claim. Aly says this helps people get into more of a preventative mode than reactive mode.
IBM Ready App for Telecommunications: This app uses Cloudant Geospatial to find hotspots near you. It also incorporates analytics to track how people are using the application so you can give them a better experience.
Aly notes that the features and functions in these applications have a very broad reach. So even if you are not in the insurance industry, the features in the Ready App for Insurance might be useful for anyone that has an interest in incorporating IoT into their application.
Aly discusses the importance of IBM’s commitment to open source:
“I think it is absolutely essential to involve external developers and get their feedback on what they want in code. With developerWorks Open, you are seeing the real need and push for it at IBM, which is really good. As a developer myself, it has helped simplify the open source process, which I do in my lab.”
Scott Laningham notes that dW Open is a developer center and an incubator for IBM’s open source projects and a gateway for open source communities to share what they are doing.
Aly wraps up the interview by talking about how developers can use dW Open to get involved in the Ready Apps program. She says that each of the apps and their code is available on dW Open, and there are blog posts that discuss the issues that people have with the apps along with best practices info about using the apps. It’s a community where developers can get started with the code right away using the tools they are used to. Site visitors are able to interact with Aly and many other IBM developers through dW Open.