Harman debuts voice-control cognitive rooms powered by IBM’s IoT service

Harman debuts voice-control cognitive rooms powered by IBM’s IoT service
Audio grant Harman has recently announced a partnership with IBM’s Watson Internet of Things (IoT) unit, creating cognitive rooms embedded with artificial intelligence and voice control services.

Just like Google Home and Amazon Echo, the brain inside the cognitive room can respond to voice commands and questions based on the context of the room and where sensors are located.

Harman’s Voice-Enabled Cognitive Rooms are powered by IBM Watson’s IoT application programming interface and cognitive computing service, and equipped with Harman AKG microphones, JBL speakers and the control and switching system from Harman’s subsidiary AMX.

The system positions itself as a cognitive conference room assistant. By talking with the virtual assistant, users can control room equipment, set up video-conferences, launch presentations and adjust lightings by voice command.

The natural language commands will be sent to the Watson IoT cloud service and return as a software commands. With time, the system will learn user preferences through the commands and automatically makes equipment adjustment when a user starts to give commands.

The system has been installed in the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to enable patients to interact with their rooms and adjust lighting or window blinds without the need from medical staff.

The system can also be trained to be location sensitive. For example, it can be integrated into hotels to let guests request room service, make restaurant reservations, have late checkout or other interactions.

In the future, Harman may also launch this system in cruise ship cabins and other spaces.

IBM has been promoting its Watson computing platform in the IoT sector. Last October, the company invested US$200 million and established an IoT global headquarter in Munich, Germany. IBM said there were about 6,000 customers using the Watson IoT platform at the time.

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