An IBM-built fare collection system is installed for BART, the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system.
IBM's first operational application of speech recognition enables customer engineers servicing equipment to "talk" to and receive "spoken" answers from a computer that can recognize about 5,000 words. IBM also develops an experimental terminal that prints computer responses in Braille for the blind.
Thomas J. Watson, Jr., retires and becomes chairman of the executive committee, and T. Vincent Learson succeeds him as IBM chairman of the board. Frank T. Cary is elected president.
The IBM System/370 Model 195 is announced, the most powerful computer to date in IBM's product line. By year end, more than 1,300 System/370 deliveries are made worldwide.
New peripheral products introduced in 1971 include the 3410 magnetic tape subsystem; the 3670 brokerage communications system; the 2730 transaction validation terminal for checking credit at point of sale; the "Selectric" II Typewriter with dual pitch; and the Communicating Mag Card "Selectric" Typewriter.
A new IBM credit card service provides embossing, encoding and addressing under high-security conditions.
IBM computers help guide Apollo 14 and 15 Moon landings and enhance photos taken by Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit Mars.
The Zurich laboratory builds transistor amplifiers and oscillators operating at 18 billion cycles per second, the highest transistor circuit frequency to date.
New IBM manufacturing plants are opened at Bromont, Canada; Sumare, Brazil; and Yasu, Japan.