IBM Impact: I always feel like somebody

I’m both frightened and amazed at some of the developments coming out of Singapore.

Silvester Prakasam, deputy director ofthe Fare Systems Land Transport Authority at the island city-state,came out on stage at this morning’s IBM Impact general session offeringa sneak peak into some of the technologies his department has beenimplementing recently.

The biggest problem for the island isspace, which has led a lot of transportation construction to gounderground. Prakasam and his team have built a system, which issuescards for public transportation and motor vehicle use.

Apparently these cards are rapidlybringing down costs for the department and reducing traffic congestion.I didn’t catch how exactly it was doing those things, but what I didcatch was how the system gives the transportation authority the abilityto trace cardholders as they move through the city’s transportationsystems.

Prakasam pointed out that if travelerboards a train cart with an infectious disease, the system will be ableto identify all other riders in that traveller’s proximity, andultimately pinpointing potential candidates for quarantine.

While the technology might make for someinteresting talk during this ongoing swine flu madness, I’m sureprivacy activists would have a field day with this before it reachesour shores.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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