5 genius demonstrations from the Genius of Things Boston

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While the Genius of Things event in Boston is over, I’m still pondering. There are so many interesting ways that our customers are using Watson IoT to change the way we live and work. In addition to the great speakers, there were also some very impressive technology demonstrations that our partners and colleagues brought to the event. Below are some of the people and companies we talked to:

Persistent Systems

Meet the Robot Concierge. We did, when we stopped by to chat with the Persistent team. Persistent has been a leader in developing humanoid robots with Watson IoT. Used in banks, retailers, hospitals and hotels, these robots can work tirelessly 24/7. More than that, they can recognize you, converse with you and provide helpful information, all while watching for security threats. They can answer most of the frequently asked questions and learn from their human interactions. Plus, they can work with other connected systems. Of course, a robot concierge is a great photo op, but really, it’s about boosting customer satisfaction and creating that differentiated experience.


We loved the quote from Danillo Elez, senior vice president, KONE at the event. And we were equally delighted to see their innovations in action. KONE is responsible for keeping a billion people moving every day on their elevators and escalators. Yet in a 100-year-old industry, differentiation takes a lot of vision and vigilance. That’s why predictive maintenance matters. To stay ahead of problems, KONE let’s elevators speak their minds. With KONE 24/7 Connected Services and Watson IoT, intelligent real-time (and real!) machine conversations are happening. Data is translated into voice format, allowing us to eavesdrop on elevators in Sweden, Illinois, Finland, Shanghai, France and the Netherlands. Take a listen and see why we were so impressed.

Real-time conversation with an elevator in France, just one of KONE's machine conversations.

A demonstration of the real-time conversation with an elevator in France, just one of KONE’s machine conversations.

IBM Visual Inspection

“If you make something, you care about whether it’s made right.” True words from Chris O’Connor, general manager for Watson IoT, as he introduced visual inspection technology. O’Conner, along with IBM engineer, Walker Sherk, did one of the fastest demonstrations of the day. They showed how IBM Visual Insights, part of the IoT for Manufacturing suite, ensures that everything that comes off your line meets your quality specs. More accuracy, better yield and no more Lucille Ball at the chocolate factory! Even more impressive…it only takes 200 pictures and two weeks for a company to get their own visual inspection process up and running. Take a look for yourself in the clip below:

Unlike the human eye, IBM Visual Insights never gets tired. Plus, the more it sees, the more it learns.

Ricoh & the Intelligent Workplace

According to Ricoh, we spend an average of 40-50% of our workday in meetings. Yet 1/3 of that time is ineffective. That means that each week we waste the equivalent of an entire day.

But the future of meetings just got brighter. The Intelligent Workplace with Watson helps reduce lost productivity in employee meetings – whether remote or in person – by making it easy for employees to capture and share actions and meeting context. That means better engagement and world-class cognitive collaboration.

How Rita Works

Using the smart whiteboard, known as Rita, you can log attendance, track agenda items, capture minutes and create action items automatically. Rita will transcribe spoken language to create and send communications. And she also captures audio commands from the meeting for follow up. Now that sounds like a worthwhile meeting! What would you do with an extra day of time back each week?

Smart Connect

Smarter transportation, less pollution, better health…all of these were on display at the Smart Connect demo station. The company works with Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, which (no surprise) administers the Golden Gate Bridge and operates Golden Gate Transit. Sensor and camera data is captured from the transit buses and sent through the SmartConnect Gateway to the Watson IoT Platform. All of this data provides not only an “early warning system” for bus health, but when combined with weather information, can lead to less pollution, too. It’s all part of the Smart Connect focus on the Smart City, Smart Transportation, Smart Industrial space. And with initiatives like that, we should all breathe easier.

Golden Gate Transit uses sensors and cameras to keep their buses healthy and in service.

Golden Gate Transit uses sensors and cameras to keep their buses healthy and in service.

Every day, companies are reimagining the world with Watson IoT. These demonstrations are just a tiny sliver of that power of Watson IoT. That’s why over the coming weeks, we’ll share the “best of” from our Genius of Things Summit to help you hone your own inner genius.

For anyone who missed the Boston event, we’ve got all the information you need here.  If you’re ready to learn more about IoT today, take a tour of the solutions page to explore how Watson IoT can help you transform your business.


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