IBM is today announcing new partnerships with four companies that will be working with its Watson “cognitive computing” technology for analyzing data.
Sports apparel company Under Armour will put its Connected Fitness user data and data from its other sources through Watson to provide “timely, evidence-based coaching about health and fitness-related issues, including outcomes achieved based on others ‘like you.’” This analysis will initially be available through Under Armour’s Record app, according to a statement from IBM, and will include insights on activity, fitness, nutrition, and sleep.
Meanwhile, SoftBank Robotics will collaborate with IBM on assembling a Watson-powered version of its Pepper robot for enterprise customers. Whirlpool is teaming up with IBM to make home appliances more personalized for the benefit of end users, and Medtronic has been using Watson to smarten up a diabetes management app.
The announcements show IBM is continuing to pursue the opportunities Watson affords, two years after forming the Watson business unit. IBM has also been getting startups to use Watson, and last year IBM acquired startup AlchemyAPI to give the technology deep-learning capability and Merge Healthcare to help Watson see.
In the company’s most recent earnings statement, IBM called Watson a “new high value platform” (alongside the SoftLayer public cloud, the OpenPOWER server initiative, and other corporate entities) even though Watson has been around for several years — in 2011, it beat Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on Jeopardy.
Other Watson partners announced recently include Domus Semo Sancus, Engage, Macaw Speech, OpenTopic, StatSocial, and Vennli.