It's great to see DB2 out of the back office and onto the ball field. IBM announced last week that we would be working with Major League Baseball on several initiatives, one of which is designed to prevent counterfeiting in what is now a multi-billion dollar memorabilia business. Larry Bowden, Vice President for Portals and Mashups, explained how it works:
"The balls have a hologram on them," he explained. "At the All Star Game they had authorized security personnel who could watch the person catch the ball, and then come up to them and with their handheld device they would register the person who caught the ball, scan that particular hologram. Then that person's information goes into a database to record that they are the person who owns this ball."
That information is then wirelessly uploaded to MLB's IBM DB2 9 data server. If the lucky fan then puts the ball up for sale on eBay, potential buyers with be able to check the database to ensure that they are dealing with the rightful owner of the authentic ball hit by this player in this game on this date.
MLB is also using IBM WebSphere Portal software to provide Umpires with a consolidated view of everything from current weather conditions to historical data on players prone to fighting.
MLB is using IBM collaboration software to provide improved intelligence and historical data directly to umpiring crews. With MLB's Umpire Desktop, powered by IBM Portal software, officials gain advanced insight into players' behavior, based on historical issues or likely tendencies. Within the Umpire Desktop, you can also see Google Gadgets at work, mini-objects that can be placed on an internal Web page to offer more dynamic, real-time content. This way, umpires can get up-to-the-minute weather views from Google Gadgets, along with statistics and other key information.
SearchSOA: Web 2.0 at the old ball game
Press Release: Major League Baseball Hits Home Run With All Star Line-Up of Web 2.0 Technology From IBM