IBM launches Watson IoT Unit

IBM has cut the ribbon on its new IoT headquarters

IBM has launched its Munich-based headquarters in which its IoT services will unite with the cognitive computing power of its Watson system. 

The company cut the ribbon on the Watson IoT unit last night (December 15th), as it announced a whole host of offerings, partnerships and capabilities that will allow businesses to get the most out of the Watson IoT Cloud. 

Approximately 1,000 IBM researchers, developers, designers and consultants will be based at the unit, along with data scientists, programmers and engineers. 

Harriet Green, general manager at Watson IoT and education, noted that the IoT will soon be the single largest source of data on the planet, but some 90 per cent of this data is never acted on. 

“With its unique abilities to sense, reason and learn, Watson opens the door for enterprises, governments and individuals to finally harness this real-time data, compare it with historical data sets and deep reservoirs of accumulated knowledge, and then find unexpected correlations that generate insights to benefit business and society alike,” she added. 

IBM hopes to attract businesses to the programme, particularly those already operating in an IoT-ready space, such as within the automotive, healthcare and manufacturing sectors. 

The company believes there is plenty for businesses to gain from “the power of cognitive computing” as an enabler of IoT, as rather than being programmed by humans, machines will be able to learn and reason from both human input and their own experience. 

This means that machines will better be able to keep up with the volume and unpredictability of the data generated by IoT devices and sensors. 

As well as the Munich headquarters, IBM is also to launch eight Watson IoT Experience Centres in Beijing, Boblingen in Germany, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Tokyo and three locations in the US. 

This marks IBM’s biggest European investment since the 1990s.