Christina Cardoza

Oct 5, 2016 10:53:40 AM

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It was recently announced that the IBM Watson Internet of Things (IoT) Platform would be used to give Aerialtronics’ drones cognitive computing abilities. But IBM doesn’t plan on stopping there. The company is investing US$200 million in a new global headquarters for Watson's IoT business in order to help businesses draw insights from IoT technologies, such as drones.

“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.

The new headquarters will be used to help businesses develop new models, solutions and services.

As part of its collaboration with commercial drone provider Aerialtronics, the drones will use IBM Watson’s visual recognition APIs to get a complete 360-degree view of its environment and surroundings. In addition, the drones will be able to capture images and send them back to the platform in real time.

“Pairing the unlimited perspective of drones with Watson IoT can bring these powerful cognitive capabilities to any location, where it can be used to analyze unexpected traffic patterns resulting from nearby construction or how a train is performing while it’s in transit,” said Green. “We are very excited to work with Aerialtronics to bring these capabilities to telecommunications providers, and we look forward to continuing to push the boundaries on what this pairing can accomplish.”

The company hopes Watson’s IoT capabilities will help Aerialtronics tackle crowd safety, damage assessment and aviation inspection. Aerialtronics drones are currently used in high-quality inspection services for oilrigs, cell towers and wind turbines.

“We are excited to be working with IBM to bring these valuable Watson IoT capabilities to businesses across a variety of industries,” said Jeremy Wigmore, CEO of Aerialtronics. “By pairing the unmatched perspective of drones with the proven power of Watson IoT solutions, companies can gain actionable insights into anything, anywhere, and use this knowledge to help drive important business decisions.”

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