IBM’s Watson technology platform has announced two new Internet of Things (IoT) partnerships in Finland, as the country continues its push to be a world leader in the technology.
The first partnership is with elevator and escalator firm KONE and will use the Watson IoT platform to connect, remotely monitor and optimise the movement of more than a billion people around buildings all over the world. Through Watson’s cloud-based analytics, KONE will gather real-time insights that will enable it to predict technical issues before they occur. It is hoped that the collaboration will also lead to the development of other smart building solutions in the future.
“Efficient, people-centric cities and buildings are better for business, societies and economies. Central to this is how people move around within them and intelligent systems are poised to make their experience more convenient, intuitive and enjoyable,” said Harriet Green, general manager, IBM Watson Internet of Things. “With IBM’s cognitive IoT technologies, KONE is embedding intelligence across its operations and driving a wave of innovation in smarter buildings.”
Watson’s second Finnish partnership will see it manage and maintain a 14,000 km electricity grid. Working with electricity grid operator Fingrid, Watson will provide a holistic view of operations using networks of sensors and IBM’s advanced analytics. Previously, Fingrid had to manually collect data from a variety of disparate systems and databases, but with Watson automating a number of processes, both long-term planning and day-to-day management can be undertaken at a much quicker pace.
Also read: IBM opens Watson IoT headquarters in Munich
Finland takes the lead with IoT
Both partnerships with IBM Watson are a reflection of Finland’s willingness to embrace IoT technology. The Finnish IoT sector covers a diverse mix of innovation drivers and commercial interests, including research institutions like the University of Helsinki and local SMEs such as Sensinode and Rensas Mobile. A number of Finnish start-ups are also expected to make a major impact in 2016 with many of them, including Helsinki-based firm bt.tn, specialising in IoT solutions.
Finland has a long history of embracing new technologies, with Nokia being one of the early leaders in the mobile phone industry. In addition, the local climate – a quarter of the country’s territory lies within the Arctic Circle – means that it has a tradition of environmental measurement, which has naturally developed into an interest in IoT sensors.