At its annual SmartCamp World Finals in Dublin, Ireland, this week, IBM announced Streetline Inc. as the 2010 Global Entrepreneur of the Year. The firm was among more than 600 worldwide tech-focused startups to participate in the competition.
San Francisco-based Streetline's "smart parking" technology detects the presence of nearby automobiles through a series of integrated low-power sensors installed in various parking lots throughout a given city. The data from the corresponding networks accumulates to create a live, citywide depiction of available parking spots.
"Our smart sensors can dramatically reduce the amount of drivers' time looking for parking, and improve the efficiency of a city's traffic and parking network," said Zia Yusuf, president and CEO of Streetline. "Parking sensors are only the first step. Technologies that build smarter cities will change how people work and live and we look forward to working with IBM as we expand and deliver 'smart' services to new cities."
According to the statement, an estimated 30 percent of traffic in major cities can be attributed to people searching for parking spaces. As a whole network, the Streetline innovation allows for greater efficiency and reduced costs among airports, universities and private institutions, along with a host of other applications.
The ubiquity of web technologies, smartphones and mobile computing platforms has contributed to a recent surge in innovation, patent activity and intellectual asset management systems. Tech startups such as Streetline help to demonstrate the need for comprehensive IP management.