“When it comes to digital health and fitness tracking, the past ten years have been about data collection,” said Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour, in a statement. “We’re now at a point where a shift is occurring and consumers are demanding more from this information. This partnership will allow us to provide value back to the consumer in an unprecedented way, as we integrate IBM Watson’s machine learning technology…”
Initially, the Cognitive Coaching System will provide insights around four categories, which will be displayed within the newly released UA Record app: sleep, fitness, activity and nutrition. The insights originate from three sources, including the Under Armour Connected Fitness community, external academic research studies and institutions, and IBM Watson similarity analytics.
“As the first system of the cognitive era, Watson infuses a kind of thinking ability into digital applications, products and systems,” said John Kelly, senior vice president of IBM Research and Solutions Portfolio, in a statement. “We have already seen this capability begin to transform industries as diverse as healthcare, insurance and retail. We are working with a leader in the health and fitness industry and now by leveraging the power of Watson, Under Armour will transform personal fitness, build a deeper relationship with its customers, and enhance virtually anyone's performance on their path to achieving personal goals.”
Both Under Armour and IBM will allocate employees, technology and resources to further develop the Cognitive Coaching System, and will collaborate to define and evolve the consumer experience.
Meanwhile, Whirlpool is gearing up for a market on the cusp of increased demand for intuitive, connected home appliances. Through IBM Watson services, including cognitive analytics, data management and protection, Whirlpool can better serve the consumer as connected home appliances continue to evolve. The collaboration will also focus, in part, on the importance and intricacies of big data. Whirlpool is using IBM Cloud Business Solutions to harness real-time data and insights from appliances to drive product optimization or enhance and introduce new benefits customized to consumers’ unique needs.
“IBM’s cognitive analytics is a strong fit for Whirlpool Corporation,” said Laurent Borne, general manager of Connected Appliances at Whirlpool, in a statement. “Saving energy and water, caring for their families through mobile efficiencies – these are the benefits we’re hoping to bring to consumers. IBM’s expertise in data storage, and cloud computing ensures we’ll continue to bring our consumers relevant technologies in the future, as well as deliver new, innovative, and distinctive experiences for the consumer.“
For her part, Rometty said IBM and SoftBank Robotics Holdings Corp. (SBRH) will tap into data and knowledge across the “Internet of Things” to enable Watson-powered Pepper robots to make sense of the hidden meaning in data that traditional computers cannot comprehend – including social media, video, images and text. IBM Watson represents a new era in computing where systems understand the world in the way that humans do: through senses, learning, and experience.
The Watson-powered Pepper robot under development would be equipped with core functionalities as well as a Watson software development kit (SDK) that enables developers to tailor the interaction experience. IBM will give clients access to Watson APIs and various pre-packaged applications designed to address a variety of personal and professional needs.
“Today, the power of cognitive computing can be woven into any form factor,” said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM Watson, in a statement. “Our collaboration with SBRH on Pepper will allow a much broader audience to experience and tap into Watson. In terms of hands-on interaction, when cognitive capabilities are embedded in robotics, you see people engage and benefit from this technology in new and exciting ways."