IBM's artificial intelligence computer Watson is expanding into the weather forecast territory. According to IBM's press release (opens in new tab), the American tech giant is buying The Weather Company's B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties, including WSI, weather.com, Weather Underground and The Weather Company brand.
The TV segment – The Weather Channel – will not be acquired by IBM, but will license weather forecast data and analytics from IBM under a long-term contract, the company added.
All of abovementioned acquired technology will be used to power the new Watson Internet of Things unit.
Even though weather seems to be in the focus here, it's actually about data – and large quantities of it. “The planned acquisition would bring together IBM's powerful cognitive and analytics platform and The Weather Company's dynamic cloud data platform, which powers the fourth most-used mobile app daily in the United States and handles 26 billion inquiries to its cloud-based services each day.”
"The Weather Company's extremely high-volume data platform, coupled with IBM's global cloud and the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of Watson, will be unsurpassed in the Internet of Things, providing our clients significant competitive advantage as they link their business and sensor data with weather and other pertinent information in real time," said John Kelly, senior vice president, IBM Solutions Portfolio and Research. "This powerful cloud platform will position IBM to arm entire industries with deep multimodal insights that will help enterprises gain clarity and take action from the oceans of data being generated around them."
The acquisition will help IBM offer weather data insights, but the goal is to help businesses operate more efficiently.