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September 22, 2016updated 26 Sep 2016 1:44pm

What is IBM doing in the Internet of Things?

By Hannah Williams

Reports show that the Internet of Things (IoT) is to become the biggest source of data on the planet, with a predicted 30 billion connected devices expected to be online within three years.

Early examples of IoT applications include transport solutions which use connected device data to inform communities, the personalisation of customer experiences by putting consumers into context for businesses and opening up totally new lines of business based on IoT generated data and analytics.

IBM is working with over 4000 IoT adopters. Since the 2015 launch of its AI platform Watson the firm has been using machine learning and other techniques to understand continuous data flows.

The Watson IoT Platform

Harriet Green, Global head of IBM Watson IoT said: “IBM is working with public and private sector alike across the UK to help clients use Watson cognitive intelligence to deliver on the promise of the Internet of Things.”

Watson’s IoT portfolio allows organisations to do everything from connecting devices and building IoT apps.

IBM has built relationships with many companies and industries across the market that is doing meaningful work in IoT.

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The companies’ role in the Internet of Things started with its announcement in 2015, of a $3 billion investment over the next four years to deliver IoT solutions and services to customers.

The focus being to create, build and manage connected products and systems at the heart of IoT. Later in the year, the Watson platform was revealed.


Watson, powered by IBM POWER7 - analytics for IOT

Watson, powered by IBM POWER7 – analytics for IOT

According to a McKinsey & Company report: “The Internet of Things has the potential to fundamentally shift the way we interact with our surroundings. The ability to monitor and manage objects in the physical world electronically makes it possible to bring data-driven decision making to new realms of human activity- to optimize the performance of systems and processes, save time for people and businesses, and improve quality of life.”

IBM’s idea of a ‘platform of platforms’ sees the company working towards becoming that platform, through the use of the Watson IoT portfolio. In IBM’s perspective, applications are the link between an organisation’s transformation and the IoT platform.

Another example of IBM setting out its platform for a wide scale use is based on UK start-up Bluebel, which provides social navigation services for the cycling community.

Bluebel uses IBM’s cloud computing platform, Geospatial Analytics and Watson IoT to analyse data and provide useful information to the rest of the cycling community.

Harriet Green added: “With the UK government’s support for IoT and a dynamic start up scene, the UK is well positioned to reap the benefits of this exciting era.”

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