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Q&A: IBM Watson IoT HQ

Q&A: IBM Watson IoT HQ

Q&A with Gayathri Magie, Technical Leader, IBM Watson IoT.
IIoT is decisively moving from a possibility to a necessity. As technology matures, we must move from asking ‘what if?’ to ‘what next?’ IIoT Europe Summit will unite senior experts at the IBM Watson IoT Headquarters, in Munich this November, to debate and understand the requirements of Industry 4.0 for businesses. But until then, this Q&A with IBM Watson IoT’s Technical Leader Gayathri Magie paints a picture of what it is like to be there- at one of the most innovative places for IoT in the world:
1. What were last year’s major highlights at IBM Watson HQ?
Our strategic goal for the Center is to continue creating a unique and truly collaborative global ecosystem to drive IoT innovation. Our “One IBM” approach includes in house collaboration with IBM Security, The Weather Company (an IBM Business), Cloud, Analytics, and Watson; along with our co-located business partners and clients at the center to provide broad IBM innovation, development and co-creation opportunities.
In October 2017, we opened the Government Industry Lab in the Watson IoT Center. The new Government Industry Lab is an extension of the industry section of the Center, which provides tangible examples of how IoT and cognitive technologies are impacting how we live and work including automotive, manufacturing and worker safety. This Government Lab presents various use cases which are driven by citizen experience and value for the users, with operational readiness, interoperability and situational understanding.
Highlights from the past year include extending our co-location Partner Ecosystem Hub to welcome new partners, creating new industry use cases focused on Connected Vehicles, Connected Operations, and Connected Spaces, adding new co-creation initiatives, and extending our Watson IoT portfolio through joint showcases with our partners. In April 2018, the 12th IBM Cloud Garage opened inside the Watson IoT headquarters and will bring together our strengths in cloud, agile tools, blockchain, data and AI.
2. Who are the key players to have joined your IoT eco-system recently?
Tech Data, Apleona, BMW, BNP Paribas, Persistent Capgemini, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, and Tech Mahindra are currently co-located in the Center to explore how IoT and AI technologies can drive transformation for their companies and clients.
UnternehmerTUM, the Center for Innovation and Business Creation at the Technical University Munich, is also located with us to work together on today’s new collar skills challenge, on up-skilling digital professionals and on incubating start-ups. Bavaria-based fortiss Research, home of as many as 13 Nobel laureates, also joined forces with us to work on cognitive robotics and manufacturing projects.
3. Tell us a little bit about IBM’s FabLab
Our state-of-the-art FabLab, Fabrication Laboratory, maker space is for true IoT ‘geeks’- it’s their favorite place in the building. The lab is equipped with a set of EnOcean sensors to enable us to implement use cases for employee safety and predictive maintenance of equipment. We also have tools and electronic gear, 50W Epilog laser cutters, 3D printers, scroll saws, digital soldering stations… enough to make just about anything. It’s a place where we can rapidly prototype IoT devices our clients are interested in and where we can speed up the ideation-innovation process and go from post-it to prototype.
One of the fun things that was developed in the FabLab was a café occupancy meter, which we use in the Center itself to give our staff and visitors a sense of how long the queue is at any given time and of optimal times to visit the café.
Also available to development teams for custom programming is a Pepper Robot which was programmed with machine learning and used in such projects as Josie at Munich International Airport – http://bit.ly/2M208eB
4. What has the proudest accomplishment at IBM Watson HQ been, since its inauguration?
Apart from opening the Center -which we count as a significant achievement that we are proud in and of itself, we are also proud of whom we have welcomed to the Center and hosted here. We have welcomed over 24,000 visitors to our Global HQ, including business and governmental delegations from all over the world. Including, but not limited to: Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, USA, and United Arab Emirates, in addition to visitors from every country in the European Union, as well as EU and international institutions, such as the European Parliament, European Commission, US Congress and NATO.
Together with our partners, we’ve uncovered new business opportunities, and significantly contributed to skills development far beyond all the professionals based in the IoT Center. We have also welcomed coding camps, hackathons, and college and university students and hosted the Invent a Chip competition to find Germany’s best young engineering talents together with one of the Europe’s largest engineering and scientific associations VDE.
5. What can delegates expect from the IBM lab tour?
In our brand new Client Experience zone, IBM takes clients through a journey to show a high-level overview of Watson IoT capabilities. Client references and use cases are introduced in an interactive manner. Demonstrations show you how AI is being taken to the next level with our clients and partners.
The Industry Lab is a collaborative team of industry-specific and technical solution experts that are solving the challenges of businesses today in an increasingly user-driven economy.
In the Lab you will be shown examples of how IBM is applying IoT to the: Automotive, Electronics, Government, Industrial, and Insurance sectors.
In the Watson IoT Ecosystem Hub space, our partners demonstrate Proof of Concept projects, industry-focused IoT solutions, and drive innovation with IBM to show the art of the possible using IoT and AI technologies.
It is also possible to see IoT in the Workspace by touring the center itself or simply finding a seat to view building data or by engaging with the Center’s very own digital assistant, powered by Watson Assistant.
IIoT Europe will be hosted at the IBM Watson IoT HQ, November 6th-7th 2018. Secure 1 of 10 Complimentary VIP Passes today- Register with code IOTVIP at: https://www.industrialiotseries.com/europe/

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