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AT&T, IBM partner to support ‘Internet of things’ data efforts

IBM and AT&T announced a global partnership to develop support systems and solutions targeting the “Internet of things.” Both businesses said they will leverage their individual analytic platforms, cloud arrangements and security systems in combination to study data collection from connected devices and machines in a range of industries. Through this research, the organizations said they will seek to craft new IoT solutions for city governments and midsize utility businesses.

IBM product management VP Michael Curry told PCWorld that the growing number of devices connected to the Internet of things is creating a “big data problem,” in that organizations do not have an efficient way to utilize this information. IBM’s agreement with AT&T is designed to help support efforts to better use big data from IoT devices.

RCR Wireless News Editor Martha DeGrasse provides more details on the IBM/AT&T partnership during the RCR Wireless News Mobile Minute.

“Companies want to be able to take that data and use it to optimize operations and predict failures,” Curry said.

Within the agreement, AT&T and IBM will study data from a number of IoT-connected devices, including mass-transit vehicles, utility meters and video cameras, to gain an insightful picture of information being utilized within a city.

Benefits for city planners
As the project is aimed at improving efforts within cities, the partnership looks to provide several advantages for city planners, including the ability to better allocate and provision resources. These individuals will also be able to enhance city traffic management, parking capacity and first responder activities through AT&T and IBM’s movement analysis.

The companies will also work to monitor social media for residents who report inclement weather or undesirable traffic conditions and allow city officials to consider this information and establish the best course of action for safety.

Rick Qualman, IBM strategy and business development VP, said the partnership will provide information from mobile applications, cloud analytics and crowdsourcing to help groups “better listen, respond and predict.”

“Smarter cities, cars, homes, machines and consumer devices will drive the growth of the Internet of things along with the infrastructure that goes with them, unleashing a wave of new possibilities for data gathering, predictive analytics and automation,” Qualman said.

Chris Hill, AT&T advanced solutions SVP, said the partnership will help provide a more interconnect global network, which will enable companies to better utilize their mobile connected hardware to improve their businesses.

AT&T’s IoT projects
This is not the first project focused on the Internet of things for AT&T. The company has previously worked with Qualcomm to streamline processes related to the creation of IoT devices and applications, according to ReadWrite. The joint initiative was announced early last year and dubbed the Internet of Everything development platform.

The project utilized AT&T’s cellular network for Web connections, as well as Qualcomm’s 3G connectivity resources including its QSC6270-Turbo chipset and Gobi modem. The development platform also leveraged Java ME Embedded 3.2 by Oracle for the programming used to create new IoT devices and apps.

“This IoE development platform with Java support is a tool to extend the power of our integrated chipsets to application developers,” Kanwalinder Singh, Qualcomm Technologies business development SVP, said at the time.

According to ReadWrite, the overall goal of the project is to “lower the barrier to entry for connecting devices to the Internet.”

Additionally, AT&T also hosted the Internet of things “Hackathon Series” beginning last September. The events were aimed at developing compatible applications that can be utilized on a range of mobile and desktop devices.

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