January 29, 2010 / 9:06 PM / 9 years ago

Redesigned IBM exhibit opens at Disney World

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A redesigned IBM exhibit called “Smarter Planet” opened on Friday at Walt Disney World near Orlando, bolstering IBM’s 14-month-old campaign to rebrand itself as a company that provides global software solutions as well as its traditional hardware and technical services.

“Smarter Planet is our way of describing what the possibilities are in the more intelligent, interconnected world,” said IBM spokesman Clint Roswell.

The “Smarter Planet” exhibit, located in the Innoventions pavilion of the Epcot theme park, offers park guests a peek at an energy efficient IBM data center that, according to IBM, reduces energy costs by up to 25 percent.

The data center will power the exhibit, service 200 clients outside of Disney property and donate unused computing capacity to the World Community Grid, which offers excess capacity to medical, humanitarian and environmental research projects, according to Roswell.

Guests also will be invited to create avatars of themselves which become players in a video game based on IBM’s history of computing achievements. Other kiosks ask guests to consider how technology can help solve complex world problems.

IBM launched its Smarter Planet brand in November 2008 to reflect the company’s evolution from primarily a hardware seller to a supplier of software to provide solutions to such problems as traffic congestion and inventory control.

Roswell would not provide figures on the cost of redesigning the 13-year-old IBM exhibit. A Disney spokeswoman said about 50 percent of Epcot guests visit the Innoventions pavilion, but would not provide overall attendance figures for the theme park.

Reporting Barbara Liston, editing by Bernard Orr

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