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IBM to invest $200m in global Watson IoT HQ

Aerialtronics commercial drones feature Watson IoT computing capabilities.

By Alexander Sword

Technology giant IBM has announced that it will invest $200m in the new global headquarters for its Watson IoT business in Munich.

The investment is part of its $3bn global investment aimed at bringing Watson cognitive computing to IoT.

It is targeted at meeting the growing demands of its customers who wants to transform their operations using a combination of IoT and artificial intelligence technologies.

The number of clients tapping IBM Watson IoT solutions and services currently stands at 6,000 compared to 4,000 eight months ago.

IBM’s Watson IoT business global head Harriet Green said: “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.”

IBM opened the Munich headquarters in December.

IBM opened the Munich headquarters in December.

The company said that the Watson IoT headquarters will be home to the first ever cognitive IoT Collaboratories.

It has also rolled out new Watson IoT offerings, including a capability that connects IoT data to blockchain through its platform.

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The capability enables companies to share IoT data in a secure, private blockchain to reduce the costs and complexities of doing business across a network.

The new offerings will also allow customers to tap the Watson IoT platform to develop new voice interfaces for customers – in homes, cars, stores, hotels and offices.

Separately, IBM and Netherlands-based maker of unmanned aircraft systems Aerialtronics have announced the first commercial drones featuring cognitive computing capabilities from the Watson IoT platform on IBM Cloud.

Aerialtronics

Aerialtronics is using IBM’s IoT technology in drones.

Aerialtronics drones offer a complete 360-degree overview of locations to be inspected through high definition cameras and Watson Visual Recognition APIs.

Green said: “Pairing the unlimited perspective of drones with Watson IoT can bring these powerful cognitive capabilities to any location, where it can be used to analyse unexpected traffic patterns resulting from nearby construction or how a train is performing while it’s in transit.”

Global automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler has also signed a multi-year strategic partnership agreement with IBM to speed up its digital transformation using Watson IoT platform.

Using the Watson platform, Schaeffler will analyse huge amounts of data from millions of sensors and devices across its operations.

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