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Hp, Ibm Labs Straddle Present and Future Technologies

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HP Labs Director Prith Banerjee

Hewlett Packard

Both IBM's Almaden Research Center and Hewlett-Packard Labs are focused on promoting their companies' core businesses and investigating emerging technologies. Thousands of IBM researchers work to address immediate customer problems while conducting longer-range product development as well as basic scientific research, and at a recent open house researchers detailed several "smarter Web" projects to tackle urgent social and business challenges.

IBM's David Boloker describes Web 3.0 as the connection between devices and Web content, and he says his group is attempting to help customers build new business applications from the information that Web 3.0 technology will capture. One example is Blue Spruce, a software/Web camera mashup designed to facilitate real-time collaboration, while another IBM demo involved new ways to mine social networks for information while shielding personal data. Meanwhile, the CoScripter software tool lets non-programmer users capture and share how they are executing Web tasks.

HP Labs was overhauled in 2008 to work more closely with corporate business teams and academic researchers, and director Prith Banerjee (pictured) says the lab's objective "is to advance the state of the art in terms of technology, and transfer it to our businesses." HP's projects focus on eight subject categories — digital printing, content transformation and delivery, immersive computer interactivity, information management, analytics software, cloud computing, intelligent infrastructure, and sustainability — which Banerjee says will create "the most complex problems" for HP customers in the next 10 years.

Notable recent HP Labs initiatives include gesture- and voice-directed interactive computing, new form factors for plastic reflective screen displays, and complete digitization of the commercial printing industry.

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