The nature of my role in Emerging Technology Services for IBM meant that I was often asked to create a technical prototype that demonstrated the potential of an emerging technology.

Some common themes included…

For more information about any of these, please get in touch

Extending and modifying IBM products

WebSockets for IBM WebSphere MQ
Extending WebSphere MQ middleware to include support for WebSockets, allowing messaging to web browsers without any additional client software. I also made a number of mobile web apps to demonstrate the potential of this technology preview.

See more on blog post about the project

Social network prototype for civil service
I modified and extended the IBM social software application, Lotus Connections, as a proof-of-concept demonstrator for a civil service. Connections required an existing employee directory (e.g. LDAP) as a part of the installation, however this client had no existing directory of all employees. I modified Connections to enable employees to create their own accounts, and identify their manager – thereby creating an employee directory from the ground up.

Biometrics broker for national identity database
I helped to lead the technical team responsible for creating a prototype of an identity and biometrics broker to integrate multiple biometric systems. My demonstration of this prototype was instrumental in winning a £650m contract to develop and supply a national biometrics identity system.

PowerShell for WMQ
I created an extension to IBM WebSphere MQ that would allow it to be administered from within the new Windows PowerShell scripting and command-line environment. This has continued to receive active development from the product team since I completed by proof-of-concept.

See more in my blog posts about PowerShell

Social media

TV Scrobbling for televisionI created a TV scrobbler to automatically capture the TV that I watch, record and play, and some sample visualisations to show how people could share their TV watching habits.

See a live demo of the initial version of the code at

Social media analysis for a police department
I created a pilot project to demonstrate the ability of sentiment and other unstructured text analysis approaches on online discussions, such as those in social media, to inform the intelligence and resource planning for a police force.

Smart metering community project for IBM
I developed an internal community project to capture and display the home electricity usage of IBM UK employees. The aim of the project was to explore how social web and data visualisation techniques could be used to motivate behavioural changes in energy usage.

Mobile app development

Mobile free voice transcription app for a police force
I created a proof-of-concept to demonstrate how technology could help police officers meet the legal requirements for filling in forms at the scene and time of an arrest. It used speech-to-text transcription to convert the officers’ speech into text, and natural language analysis to identify answers for filling in to the form, without requiring directed questions or questions being answered in any particular order.

Mobile app for LOVEFiLM
updated Eye for LOVEFiLMA quick project to demonstrate image recognition web services, which allowed a user to add DVDs to their online list by taking a picture of a movie poster or DVD cover from an Android mobile.

See more in my blog posts about the app

Mobile app for a not-for-profit
I created a prototype Android app for project workers in developing nations to report on the progress of projects to their aid funders.

Mobile app for borders and immigration department
I was responsible for the delivery of a mobile app for the secure management, recording and search of biometric information for a borders and immigration department.

Executive dashboard for a car manufacturer
I worked on a project to create a series of dashboards showing live executive summaries at a glance for use on large plasma screens in a boardroom. I created a demonstration for how this information could be pushed to a mobile app version of the dashboards.

Infrastructure for mobile solutions

Gaian DB research
presentation thumbnailI worked on a project to develop Gaian DB – a dynamic, distributed, federated database.

This included spending several months working to get Gaian to work on various mobile radio and satellite networks with very low bandwidth, high error rates and long latency.

See more on my presentation about the Gaian DB on my blog

Mobile file transfer for car manufacturer
I created a file transfer agent for resource-constrained in-car realtime embedded telemetry devices. This was to enable cars to send engine telemetry back to the manufacturer’s servers, as well as allowing for future projects to deliver digital content to cars.

A middleware layer for sensors

Fabric for sensors
fabricI was a developer of a lightweight message bus and toolkit for sensor and other distributed and resource-constrained networks that provides a middleware platform to access and manage sensors and data feeds.

I also created a client for Android smartphones, contributing the sensor data from mobiles to the network, allowing data from sensors such as the GPS or accelerometer from large numbers of smartphones to be easily accessed.

I also worked on a web UI for the middleware, demonstrated at the Empire Challenge military and intelligence showcase.

See more about Fabric at alphaWorks.

Web development

Web visualisation for IBM Research
I created a web app to visualise the results of some water metering algorithms implemented using Matlab. This was a project to help Research better explain the benefits of their unique modelling, and also involved writing the web services to drive Matlab.

iWidget development for travel and tourism processes
I extended the UI capabilities of a new IBM process server to support a key client engagement by creating a set of custom iWidgets to manage and visualise their business processes.

Web development for a UK fire service
I developed a creative pilot web app to demonstrate how the Fire Service could allocate staff and resources between stations in a visual way.

Development of a web app for recording your time
timer2I created a web app that allowed for a visual way of recording how people spend time – a painting metaphor with users painting on a calendar from projects represented as a coloured palette.

See a video demo of the web app on my YouTube channel.

Web development for British Airways
I developed a prototype for an airport self-service check-in touch-screen kiosk, as a part of a project to streamline some of their check-in processes.

See the official press release for more information

Building a Smarter Planet

Smarter Planet infrastructure for a utility meter manufacturer
I worked on extending the capabilities of IBM’s messaging infrastructure products to enable a multinational smart-meter manufacturer to manage and collect data from more than ten million meters.

Smart meter telemetry infrastructure for an Israeli water meter company
I worked on an integration project to allow smart meters made by an IBM Business Partner to integrate with IBM back-end software, by extending the smart meter firmware to include support for the MQTT messaging protocol.

Smart metering architecture research
I worked on an EU-funded research project into managing and storing the data created by smart meter projects. In particular, I demonstrated how a distributed approach to storing the data could address some of the challenges of traditional data warehousing architectures.