IBM has accepted automation manufacturer Opto 22 into its IBM Watson IoT partner ecosystem, which provides developers with a “toolset for building applications that connect real-world signals and data from industrial 'things' to the digital world of information technology, mobile, and cloud computing,” according to the company.
The partnership between IBM and Opto 22 aims to enable developers to rapidly design, prototype, and deploy applications to connect existing industrial assets to the IBM Watson IoT platform and share their data, capabilities, and resources with other connected systems and assets, to build the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Combining open technologies like RESTful APIs and Node-RED with computing platforms like the IBM Watson IoT platform decreases development time, eliminates the need for expensive middleware, reduces risk for customers, and gets solutions to market fasters, according to the companies.
The partnership enables developers to connect, set up, and manage edge processing devices like programmable automation controllers from Opto 22 and apply real-time analytics, cognitive services, and blockchain technology to the data generated by these devices. Cognitive APIs deliver natural-language processing, machine-learning capabilities, text analytics, and image analytics.
“The industrial automation and control industry is in transition right now,” says Benson Hougland, VP of marketing and product strategy. “A product development strategy based on proprietary and closed technologies is outdated. The future of industrial automation and process control lies in the rising API and data economies made possible through open standards-based technologies. Our objective in partnering with IBM is to enable IIoT developers to build their applications faster using well-known and proven Internet tools and technology.”
Opto 22 has provided a recipe for developers to get started in connecting industrial systems to the Watson IoT Platform, as well as a video walking developers through the steps. Developers can access a trial version of the Watson IoT Platform on the IBM website.