IBM has unveiled a $200 million USD investment in the new global headquarters for its Watson Internet of Things (IoT) business in Munich, new IoT capabilities around Blockchain and security and an array of clients that are driving real outcomes by using Watson IoT technologies to draw insights from billions of sensors embedded in machines, cars, drones, ball bearings, pieces of equipment and even hospitals.
As part of a global investment of $3 billion USD designed to bring Watson cognitive computing to IoT, IBM has allocated more than $200 million USD to its global Watson IoT headquarters in Munich. The investment, one of the company’s largest ever in Europe, is in response to escalating demand from customers who are looking to transform their operations using a combination of IoT and Artificial Intelligence technologies. Currently IBM has 6,000 clients globally who are tapping Watson IoT solutions and services, up from 4,000 just 8 months ago.
The Watson IoT headquarters will be home to the first ever cognitive IoT Collaboratories – hands-on industry labs where clients and partners can work together with IBM’s 1,000 Munich-based researchers, engineers, developers and business experts to drive collaborative innovation in the automotive, electronics, manufacturing, healthcare and insurance industries.
“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,” said Harriet Green, Global Head of IBM’s Watson IoT business.
New Watson IoT offerings
IBM is also announcing a number of new offerings to benefit IoT customers and developers:
• Watson IoT and Blockchain: a new capability that connects Internet of Things data to Blockchain through the IBM Watson IoT Platform. Businesses can share IoT data in a secure, private blockchain to reduce the costs and complexities of doing business across a network of people and goods. This capability is fully integrated into IBM Blockchain. Kouvola Innovation (Kinno), an economic development company based in Finland, used the IBM Watson IoT Platform to connect devices to a blockchain. Using the technology, Kinno is developing a solution that tracks, monitors, and reports on container status and location, and optimizes packing and transfer of shipments through shipping lanes.
• Security Solutions and Services: A new set of IoT Security Solutions and Services that help companies proactively identify potential risks and protect their devices from compromise. Enhanced security features in the Watson IoT Platform will provide visibility to possible exposures across the IoT landscape, alerts for immediate notification, and automatic operational responses tailored to individual customer environments. The service offerings will also include advanced security assessment, threat intelligence to identify anomalies, and data anonymization to ensure data privacy while maximizing data utility.
• Natural Language Interface: New offerings which enable customers to tap the Watson IoT platform to develop new voice interfaces for customers – in homes, cars, stores, hotels and offices. For example, Local Motors uses a Watson powered Natural Language Interface for Olli – one of the world’s first self-driving vehicles capable of a natural language interaction with its passengers.
• Cognitive IoT Cookbook: A new resource that includes new recipes for developers containing code and best practice approaches for solving cognitive IoT challenges using Watson’s Natural Language Application Program Interfaces (APIs).