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Harman and IBM announce strategic partnership

Harman Professional has announced a partnership with IBM and its Watson data platform to bring voice activation solutions based on IoT and cognitive computing to corporate, hospitality and medical environments.

The collaboration combines each companies’ areas of expertise utilising data and artificial intelligence from IBM and IoT together with Harman’s capability in audio, video, lighting, and control systems, uniting Harman’s end-to-end solutions with IBM Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities.

Pilot testing has recently been completed opening up the possibility for a number of end-to-end, voice controlled AVL solutions in the future, with the companies now looking to develop a roadmap and go-to-market plans.

Immediate applications for voice-enabled cognitive rooms exist in hotels, hospitals, and conference rooms as well as other enterprise and entertainment markets served by Harman.

Mohit Parasher, president of Harman Professional Solutions (pictured at World of Watson 2016) explained: “Together, Harman and IBM are looking to use audio, video, lighting, IoT and cognitive computing to improve the lives of workers, consumers and patients around the world. We are announcing this exciting partnership after the completion of a successful test of a prototype JBL speaker at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. This test showed that, with voice commands, a patient can control their environment, answer questions and alleviate an already overburdened healthcare staff.”

Parasher added: “Our solution is much more than a talking search engine. It’s an expert: your concierge, your nurse, your executive assistant that anticipates what you need, answers your questions, knows what follow-up questions to ask, connects the dots for you between different sets of data and helps you control the environment around you. It makes life a little easier.”