IBM boosts IoT operations with $200m investment

IBM has announced a $200 million investment into the new global headquarters for its Watson Internet of Things (IoT) business in Munich.
As part of a global investment of $3 billion designed to bring Watson cognitive computing to IoT, IBM has allocated more than $200 million 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. IBM says it currently has 6,000 clients globally who are tapping Watson IoT solutions and services, up from 4,000 just eight 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. Together, they will tackle the toughest challenges of their respective industries; apply new concepts and technologies to build IoT solutions; develop and test new business models, solutions and services; and push the boundaries of what is possible with IoT.

“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.

New Watson IoT offerings


The company also revealed new IoT product offerings around Blockchain and security.

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 optimises 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 anonymisation to ensure data privacy while maximising 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).
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