IBM brings smarter home, mobile initiatives to CES 2013

Summary:IBM shows off its cloud platform and new partnerships amid the connected home buzz at CES 2013.

LAS VEGAS -- IBM isn't the most common brand name tossed around at the Consumer Electronics Show. But with the connected living room being a major topic at the expo this year, it makes sense for Big Blue to get involved here.

See also: Complete CES 2013 coverage on CNET

In a nutshell, here's why. IBM has been steadily building a cloud empire of sorts around big data analytics as well as its Smart Cloud infrastructure, among other solutions.

While there is a big focus on Smart Cloud for the enterprise, IBM unveiled a new cloud service delivery program last August, targeting electronics to keep up with what the tech giant described as the acceleration of "the expansion of smartphones and TVs for the interactive home."

Thus, here's another small, but noteworthy piece of the puzzle.

At CES, IBM has announced that it is teaming up with microprocessor maker STMicroelectronics and Shaspa, which specializes in solutions for smarter spaces.

Together, the trio are hatching out a cloud-based system for managing heating, lighting, security and more through multiple user interfaces, including gestures and voice recognition.

Some of the benefits for the average consumer are just about saving time and money. But a system like this could prove invaluable for people with limited mobility. IBM suggests that with this smarter home initiative, a consumer could gesture to the TV to unlock the door, turn up the heat, or even check vital signs.

Sure, it's not as flashy perhaps as talking about seamless streaming HD games from Nvidia's Project Shield handhold gaming console to an UltraHD LED TV. 

But if devices like Nest have shown us anything, it's that there are plenty of consumers interested in controlling just about anything (electrical, at least) within the home from their smartphones or PCs as simply as possible.

The simplest way has to be via the cloud, and all around in the home, IBM appears to be paving the way right now.

More coverage on ZDNet from CES 2013:

Topics: CES, IBM, Mobility, Networking, Smartphones


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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