First-of-a-Kind Program (FOAK)

IBM's new augmented reality shopping app

IBM's new augmented reality shopping app is just one of many current FOAK projects. The app captures images via the built-in camera on a smartphone to identify products and displays information such as price and nutritional value.

The IBM First-of-a-Kind (FOAK) program brings together IBM Researchers and clients to test new technologies on real business problems and growth opportunities. Since 1995, we have partnered with clients on more than 150 projects to help drive innovation into the marketplace, including finding ways of providing information for healthcare without compromising patient privacy, translating a real-time warning to troops in Iraq and driving down the cost of electricity by adding intelligence to power grids.

Our work

Zero emissions data center

SuperMUC - the road to the zero emissions data center

SuperMUC is a water cooled supercomputer that uses 40 percent less energy than a comparable air-cooled machine.

Augmented reality for retail

Augmented Reality Introduction

A new augmented reality mobile shopping app will give in-store shoppers instant product details and promotions through their mobile devices.

A Prescription for Prediction

Using stream computing software for medical monitoring.

DC Water

Using spatial analytics to perform preventive maintenance and implement automated meter readings.

Raising the IQ of School Buildings

Using data and analytics to create smarter school buildings

CyberAgent and the IBM Tokyo Lab

Translating blog user insights into a more engaging experience.


Case studies

City of Dubuque

City of Dubuque

By monitoring traffic patterns as well as water and power consumption, Dubuque, Iowa is improving sustainability and engaging its citizens.

Thy-Mors hospital helps speed diagnoses and treatments


Thy-Mors hospital uses 3-D models of human anatomy to help speed diagnoses and treatments

A hospital in Guangdong China breaks ground with a First-of-a-Kind solution


A hospital in China is helping clinicians derive new insights from large volumes of patient data to study the efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine, Western medicine or combinations of the two approaches.

China Next Generation Delivery Platform enables smarter telecom services

China Mobile

Next Generation Service Delivery Platform enables smarter telecom services

CyberAgent translates blog user insights into a more engaging experience


CyberAgent translates blog user insights into a more engaging experience.

University of Ontario leverages key data to provide proactive patient care

Hospital for Sick Children

Using key data to provide proactive patient care.

McMaster works with regional health care teaching facilities to create a first-of-a-kind solution


A Canadian university working with a regional health care teaching facility is using analytics to track, forecast and simulate energy consumption patterns in buildings in order to reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions

CUNY uses sophisticated analytics and forecasting tools to dramatically improve energy efficiency


A large university is using analytics and forecasting tools to improve energy efficiency in city public schools, increase students’ awareness of sustainability issues and model a greener urban future

Rizzoli orthopaedic case study thumbnail image

Rizzoli Orthopaedic

Using analytics and visualization to help researchers and doctors predict disease progression.