Cognitive Computing

How Cognitive & IoT are Transforming Businesses Large and Small

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In what seems like the blink of an eye, the Internet of Things (IoT) has gone from an idea to a reality and its impact is being felt everywhere.

Every day I am steeped in discussions about the transformative impact of the dynamic duo of IoT and cognitive technologies. These innovations extend all the way to our homes, our offices and our communities. IoT and cognitive technologies are truly here and they are impacting each and every one of us, whether we know it or not.

Consider Schaeffler, Aerialtronics and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital:

  • Schaeffler, a manufacturer of ball bearings and other precision-engineered parts, is embarking on their IoT journey where they will use our Watson IoT to connect and transform every aspect of the business from its supply chain, through to manufacturing, sales and aftersales service. Now even the humble ball bearing will have built in intelligence and sensory capabilities that can have a huge impact on, for example, the automotive industry by, in a nutshell, helping make cars more reliable.
  • Aerialtronics designs and produces commercial drones that will soon feature cognitive computing capabilities from the IBM Watson IoT. These drones will now be able to provide high-quality inspection services so global organizations can monitor city traffic patterns and inspect oil rigs located in the Gulf of Mexico. Initially they will be used to inspect cell towers and that are hundreds of feet off the ground.
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, an acute care bed facility located Philadelphia, plans to launch cognitive hospital rooms that let patients interact with in-room speakers that are connected to the IBM Watson IoT Platform. What does this mean for patients exactly? Well they can take control over their hospital stay and the overall experience, operating lights, window blinds, asking questions about hospital facilities or even getting background information on their physician.

For these companies, IoT represents a massive business transformation. It’s one of the many reasons IBM is committed to the technology and forging a path.

Today we announced an investment of over $200 million that will go towards further developing our global Watson IoT headquarters in Munich. Part of a larger global investment of $3 billion, this commitment will quickly make this center an innovation ecosystem for the next era of industrial development.

This excitement is palpable and the interest has been immediate—today we have 6,000 clients globally who are tapping Watson IoT solutions and services. That’s up from 4,000 just 8 months ago! And now these customers and partners can work with together with IBM’s 1,000 Munich-based researchers, engineers, developers and business experts in the industry’s first ever cognitive IoT Collaboratories.

Based in The Watson IoT headquarters, these collaborative facilities will allow us to drive innovation in the automotive, electronics, manufacturing, healthcare and insurance industries by taking on the toughest challenges and ultimately pushing the boundaries of what is possible with IoT.

The impact of IoT is just beginning. I urge all of you to start looking at how the world around you is changing. I think you’ll find that whether you’re a consumer, an IBMer, one of our clients or all the above, IoT spells massive transformation, both in the how we live and work.

Former CEO & Chair of IBM Asia Pacific

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