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Business

IBM bets $3 billion on 'Internet of Things'

IBM has struck a number of high-profile partnerships over the past year, among them tech giants Apple and Twitter. In its newest venture, the US tech company hopes to help businesses make sense of real-time data.

IBM announced Tuesday

it will pump $3 billion (2.8 million euros) over the next four years into a new data unit aimed at helping businesses combine and analyze information from smartphones, tablets and other connected devices.

The services of IBM's "Internet of Things" unit will be based remotely in the cloud. The concept "Internet of Things" refers to the growing number of Internet-connected smart devices in our homes, in the workplace and around us.

The tech company said businesses will be able to enhance their own products, once they are able to make sense of the surge in real-time data, such as those from building sensors, smartphones and home appliances.

"Our knowledge of the world grows with every connected sensor and device, but too often we are not acting on it, even when we know we can ensure a better result," Senior Vice President of IBM Analytics, Bob Picciano, said.

The first partnership in this new venture will be with a unit of the Weather Company, which will move its weather data services into IBM's cloud.

IBM hopes

businesses will apply live weather forecasting to their day-to-day business data, so that companies can quickly adapt to customer buying patterns or supply chains connected to the weather.

For example, insurance companies could send messages to policyholders in areas where hailstorms are approaching. Clients are then alerted to safer places to park, saving money for both parties.

The

Armonk, New-York-based technology company

added it was already working with other large companies, such as German tire maker Continental and jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney, in utilizing this service.

el/ng (Reuters, AP)

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