IBM invests $200m in Watson IoT HQ

IBM invests $200m in Watson IoT HQ

IBM Watson IoT HQ gets a new $200m investment
IBM Watson IoT HQ gets a new $200m investment

Technology behemoth, IBM, has announced a $200m investment in a new global headquarters for its IBM Watson Internet of Things (IoT) business in Munich.

The investment, said to be one of IBM’s largest in Europe, is in response to escalating demand from customers looking to transform their operations with IoT and artificial intelligence.

IBM claims 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 strong Munich team.

IBM Watson IoT gets new features

The news coincides with addition of a number of new Watson IoT offerings available to customers and developers.

New features include:

  • Watson IoT Blockchain: a new capability that connects IoT data to a private blockchain through the IBM Watson Platform. IBM claims it will allow businesses to share IoT data via blockchain to reduce the cost and complexity of doing business across a network of people and goods.
  • Security: a new set of IoT security solutions that should help companies proactively identify risks and protect devices
  • Natural language interface: enables customers to develop new voice interfaces for customers in homes, cars, stores, hotels and offices.
  • Cognitive IoT cookbook: new recipes for developers. Supposedly, these contain the code and the best practice approaches for solving cognitive IoT challenges using Watson’s natural language application program interfaces.

Related: IBM’s Watson brings more IoT innovation to Finland

Who’s using IoT?

IBM has also disclosed some of its new customer wins with IBM Watson IoT.

  • Schaeffler, a German automotive supplier, has signed a deal to use the IBM Watson Platform to analyse data from millions of sensors and devices across its operations and provide insight to help it to be more flexible, make faster decisions and optimize the performance of equipment in the field.
  • Aerialtronics, a Dutch designer of unmanned aircraft, has announced the first commercial drones featuring cognitive computing capabilities from the IBM Watson Internet of Things (IoT) Platform on IBM Cloud.
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is working with IBM to launch cognitive hospital rooms powered by IBM Watson IoT to offer personalized, agile and responsive care.

Germany at the forefront of Industry 4.0

“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.”

Related: IBM’s Watson delivering robot hospitality at Hilton hotels