IBM to Launch a New Internet of Things Unit Worth $3 Billion

IBM is getting serious about the Internet of Things and is planning to invest $3 billion in its new unit over the next four years.

On Tuesday, IBM announced its plans to start a new Internet of Things (IoT) unit, in which IBM will invest $3 billion during the next four years.

“Our knowledge of the world grows with every connected sensor and device, but too often, we are not acting on it, even when we know we can ensure a better result,” said Bob Picciano, senior vice president of IBM Analytics, commenting on the launch of the new IoT unit.

CNET reports IBM’s statement regarding the parts of the unit:

  • A cloud platform for industries aimed at verticals. IBM will offer dynamic pricing models and cloud delivery to various verticals.
  • Bluemix IoT platform as a service so developers can create and deploy applications for asset tracking, facilities management and engineering tools.
  • An ecosystem of partners ranging from AT&T to ARM to The Weather Company.

Partially, IBM’s $3 billion investment is related to such initiatives as Smarter Planet and Smarter Cities. According to Joel Cawley, general manager, Information and Insights, IBM expects to extend the effect.

So, IBM teams up with the business-to-business division of The Weather Company, which owns The Weather Channel. This partnership will deliver micro weather forecasts with sensors from aircraft, drones, buildings and smartphones.

Actually, The Weather Company is going to transfer its data services platform to IBM’s cloud platform and use Big Blue’s analytics features such as Watson Analytics, reports CNET.

In addition, about 10,000 consultants(including 5,000 weather specialists) will be trained on data services soon. IBM will also fund market development, research and development, and additional alliances, says Mr Cawley. “We are looking at non-traditional sources, data sources that people have had trouble integrating into operational systems,” he adds.

It’s worth mentioning that in January, IBM issued a paper on the Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry (ADEPT), a new decentralized Internet of Things system using the blockchain technology.

“Applying the blockchain concept to the world of [Internet of Things] offers fascinating possibilities. Right from the time a product completes final assembly, it can be registered by the manufacturer into a universal blockchain representing its beginning of life. Once sold, a dealer or end customer can register it to a regional blockchain (a community, city or state),” stated the draft paper.

Moreover, two weeks ago, they said that IBM was considering using the blockchain technology to start a digital cash and payment system for traditional currencies. The piece of news was reported in Reuters’ article without naming the source of information because of “a lack of authorization to discuss the project in public.”

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