US Ignite Summit Demos Next-Gen Applications, Convenes Tech and Community Leaders

Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing and Public Safety Applications Previewed at Chicago Event

US IgniteCHICAGO, July 3, 2013 – The future of the internet isn’t just another social network or addicting game. It’s about making our society better, safer, smarter and more productive with next-generation applications running on ultra-fast gigabit connections.

Last week, more than 250 leaders from industry, communities, government, foundations and universities gathered in Chicago for the inaugural US Ignite Application Summit. Attendees saw live demonstrations of next-generation applications for manufacturing, education, medicine and more. The three-day summit also featured workshops on technology, application development, communities, keynotes exploring US Ignite technologies, real-world case studies and best practices.

As an event partner, Broadband Illinois hosted a panel discussion featuring current awardees of Gov. Pat Quinn’s Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge, a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at building private-public partnerships to bring gigabit connectivity to Illinois communities.

US IgniteRepresentatives from Gigabit Squared Chicago, the City of Aurora and the City of Evanston shared information on their infrastructure projects that will bring gigabit-speed connectivity to at least 1,000 end users. John Tolva, Chief Technology Officer at the City of Chicago also participated in the panel, discussing the Chicago Broadband Challenge and the city’s numerous broadband initiatives aimed at spurring innovation and getting more citizens online.  A video recording of this panel discussion will be posted Broadband Illinois’ YouTube channel soon.

 “Broadband Illinois is deeply engaged in promoting gigabit speeds throughout our state and it’s exciting to see applications that will provide a transformative benefit to the public,” said Drew Clark, Executive Director at Broadband Illinois. “US Ignite continues to do great work throughout the country and we were honored to serve as an event partner for the Chicago summit.”

Application demos were grouped in to four main categories: healthcare and natural collaboration, transforming public safety, democratizing manufacturing and immersive education. Attendees also saw previews of applications selected in the Mozilla Ignite Challenge. Representatives from the National Science Foundation, the Economic Development Administration and the Department of Health and Human Service also spoke on the importance of high-speed broadband and next-gen applications to society. 

To bring next-generation applications to life, developers utilize next-generation networks that include at least 100mbps low-latency connections (which can permit bi-directional streams of uncompressed video), software-defined networks that improve control over network routing, and more. Applications are built to be open, shared and extendable.  

 US IgniteApplication demos included:

  • The Software Lending Library allows users to check out software, like Adobe Photoshop, using ultrafast low-latency networks. This application ensures that every citizen and student has quick access to the tools they need to be productive and innovative.
  • Remote Process Control uses reliable networks to control processes from afar, allowing engineers, artists and experimenters to remotely control advanced manufacturing processes (like 3D printing) or surgery robots.
  • In-Home Health Alert with Remote Care Coordination provides inobstrusive monitoring of individuals with in-home sensors by detecting early health problems- before they become big problems- so a quick intervention can save lives and keep healthcare costs down.
  • CASA (Collective Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere) demonstrates the benefits of connecting radars to ultra high-speed networks to improve hazardous weather warning and response and the identification and tracking of small, low-flying aircraft by developing new detection algorithms that operate directly on uncompressed, high-bandwidth radar data.
  • WiRover, Enabling the Connected Ambulance, demonstrated technology that provides high-bandwidth, robust and seamless connectivity to moving vehicles. Doctors in hospitals can directly access patient records, current vital data, an audio-video feed and other critical information as soon as the ambulance first arrives at the patient site.

Click here for a full list of US Ignite next-gen applications. 

Summit attendees also toured the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Electronic Visualization Laboratory and CAVE2. The lab’s research supports the development of tools, techniques and hardware to support real-time, highly-interactive visualization and is connected to educational, government and research instantiations via an advanced, high-sped network. To learn more about the Electronic Visualization Labratory, visit

Winners of the Illinois Open Tech Challenge were also announced at a summit reception. A total of $60,000 was awarded to four teams of developers who created digital tools to utilize open government data for the benefit of Illinois residents and their communities. To see a list winning entries and read more about the challenge, click here.  

An archive of social media posts from the US Ignite Application Summit 2013 has been archived online. Click here to see the #USIgnite13 posts

To see the full event agenda and to learn more about US Ignite, visit


Broadband Illinois promotes opportunities that high-speed internet offers for jobs, education, energy efficiency, healthcare, public safety, agriculture and government. We collect and publish telecom maps and information, collaborate with internet providers and economic development officials for deployment, and educate individuals and organizations on how to effectively use broadband. Officially known as the Partnership for a Connected Illinois, we are a Springfield-based 501(c)(3) non-profit entity. Learn more at and connect at

Tags: advanced manufacturing, applications, education, event, Gigabit Communities Challenge, healthcare, high-speed networks, public safety, software-defined network, summit, us ignite

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