IBM drives advanced multimedia internet research

IBM on Tuesday detailed a program aimed to create richer multimedia applications that fully exploit the next-generation Internet2 for conducting electronic-business.

As part of its Advanced Internet Projects, IBM will focus on creating advanced technologies and applications that take advantage of "bandwidth-rich networks." Company officials said these projects represent the latest in a range of initiatives in which IBM is helping sculpt the future of business conducted over the Net.

IBM is teaming with Northwestern University to launch the first global project to create such advanced Internet applications. Their newly formed International Centre for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) will permit communication and collaboration among researchers around the world, officials said.

Internet2's bandwidth is expected to be about 1,000 times greater than today's Internet, making it more practical to create applications with video, audio, and other multimedia capabilities that benefit from such high bandwidth. These applications figure to be much more intuitive for conducting transactions and other mission critical functions, company officials said.

"The Internet of tomorrow isn't just about bigger, faster pipes, it's about what you are able to do because of that increased bandwidth," said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, general manager of IBM's Internet Division.

At iCAIR, researchers will be able to leverage advanced research projects to more rapidly deploy interactive applications with commercial enterprise users. Examples of such applications could be multiparty videoconferencing to virtual reality-enabled manufacturing and design, collaborative engineering, or interactive distance learning.

IBM's has offered it facilities in Schaumburg as part of the iCAIR center and will have a staff dedicated to projects working with Northwestern on its Evanston campus, company officials said.

In addition, IBM, in concert with the Telematics Institute and Surfnet, will also create a European Advanced Internet Application Centre located in the Netherlands. This centre is intended to extend IBM's technology expertise to European customers that are ready to deploy more advanced Internet-based advanced Internet technologies.

IBM is also a charter member of the Internet2 project. As part of that effort IBM is working closely with a variety of university-based researchers to create significantly higher performing technologies and products for higher education and eventually, the commercial sector. The company was the first private company to be approved as a corporate partner on the recently formed Abilene research network.

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