Innovation

IBM pours $200 million investment into its Watson IoT business

The IBM investment will be used in part to develop hands-on industry labs at Watson's IoT headquarters in Munich, Germany.

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IBM is investing $200 million into its Watson IoT business, which is headquartered in Munich, Germany. The Watson IoT headquarters will be home to new hands-on industry labs where clients and partners will work with IBM's researchers, engineers, and developers to drive innovation in the automotive, electronics, manufacturing, healthcare, and insurance industries.

This is one of IBM's largest ever investments in Europe, and is in response to customers wanting to use a combination of IoT and Artificial Intelligence technologies. IBM currently has 6,000 global clients, up from 4,000 eight months ago, according to an IBM press release. These clients are using Watson IoT technologies to gather information from billions of sensors embedded in machines, cars, drones, ball bearings, and hospitals.

"IBM is making tremendous strides to ensure that businesses around the world are able to take advantage of this incredible period of technological transformation and develop new products and services that really change people's lives," said Harriet Green, global head of IBM's Watson IoT business. "Germany is at the forefront of the Industry 4.0 initiative and by inviting our clients and partners to join us in Munich, we are opening up our talent and technologies to help deliver on the promise of IoT and establishing a global hotbed for collaborative innovation."

SEE: IBM Watson, MIT partner on 'brain-inspired' lab to make computers more human (TechRepublic)

IBM Watson IoT is working with Schaeffler, Aerialtronics, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital with the following new projects:

  • Schaeffler, a German automotive and industrial supplier, has signed a multi-year strategic partnership agreement with IBM to accelerate the digital transformation of its operations and customer solutions using Watson's sensors. Schaeffler will use the connectivity and analytics capabilities of IBM's cloud technologies through its Watson IoT platform to analyze huge amounts of data from millions of sensors and devices across its operations and to provide insight to help it be more flexible, make faster decisions, and optimize the performance of equipment in the field.
  • Aerialtronics, a Netherlands-based designer and producer of unmanned aircraft systems, has announced the first commercial drones featuring cognitive computing capabilities from the IBM Watson IoT Platform on IBM Cloud. Aerialtronics vehicles will be able to provide high-quality inspection services for global organizations across multiple industries, from monitoring city traffic patterns to inspecting wind turbines, oil rigs, and cell tower optimization.
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, in Center City, Philadelphia, Penn., is working with IBM to launch cognitive hospital rooms powered by IBM Watson IoT. Patients will use in-room speakers to operate lights and window blinds or to ask questions about their medical care.

SEE: IBM Watson: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)

Three takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. IBM is investing $200 million into its Watson IoT business, which is headquartered in Munich, Germany.
  2. IBM Watson IoT is working with Schaeffler, Aerialtronics, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on new projects.
  3. IBM's client base has risen from 4,000 to 6,000 in the past eight months as demand increases for IoT products.

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About Teena Maddox

Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including Peo...

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