A few moments in my life stand out. One was the first time I saw a Roger Federer backhand. Then, there was the time I heard Norwegian Wood for the first time. And there was also the time, I visited the IBM Research Center lab at Watson. I remember seeing:
1. A virtual map that tracks people as they move around a building (it was like being in a Harry Potter world without Voldemort).
2. A scanner that recognized apples, pears and oranges by shape and priced them without bar codes.
3. A virtual home office where the computer screen followed your eye movement and materialized on the wall you were looking at.
The Gary Kasparov beating engineers and scientists at IBM are some of the nicest and down to earth people you can meet. Which is why I am always intrigued by any new releases that emerge not only from the Watson labs, but from IBM at large.
That’s why the fact that IBM is getting into social media analytics is a noteworthy announcement. IBM says that the new tool will “measure consumer sentiment from data gathered on Twitter, blogs and other web services and networks.”
As noted by Andy Beal, IBM’s entry into the social space is a sure sign of the fact that the market has grown up.