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Triple Play: IBM Scores Three All-Star Partnerships to Change the Game for Athletes, Fans Using Watson

Watson Partners Transform Player Safety, Training and the Fan Experience with Cognitive Computing

NEW YORK CITY - 21 Oct 2015: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced partnerships with Triax TechnologiesTM, Spare5 and 113 Industries to develop cognitive applications powered by Watson that will help athletes train better, revolutionize golf training, amplify the game-day experience for fans and ultimately transform the future of sports. These organizations are part of a growing ecosystem of third-parties that are building applications, services and businesses embedded with cognitive technology in diverse industries and business disciplines including entertainment, retail, travel and hospitality, healthcare, financial services, legal, and education.

Watson’s ability to interact in natural language, analyze large volumes of unstructured data, respond to complex questions with evidence-based answers, and discover new actionable patterns and insights makes it uniquely suited for the domain of sports, an industry that’s becoming a much more scientific undertaking driven by data and numbers to improve the health and performance of both amateur and elite athletes.

Sports annually generates nearly $700 billion around the world, according to consulting firm
A.T. Kearney, and the market is growing faster than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in nearly every country -- even many times more in some major markets such as the United States, Brazil and the United Kingdom. At the same time, the demand for artificial intelligence (AI) infused apps is increasing, with IDC predicting that by 2018, half of all consumers will regularly interact with services based on cognitive computing.

"Cognitive is a new form of computing that represents a seismic shift in technology. We've moved beyond systems that are programmed - the technologies most of us use today - to systems that understand, reason and learn," said Lauri Saft, Vice President, IBM Watson Ecosystem. "These latest partnerships exemplify the entrepreneurial nature of our Watson ecosystem. Like so many other industries, sports is awash in data, and cognitive computing allows IBM’s partners like Triax Technologies, 113 Industries and Spare5 to apply deeper insights to all of that information to improve athlete performance and redefine the fan experience."

These three partners have specifically tapped into a variety of IBM Watson APIs to deliver the following offerings:

Impact Sensor Technology: Triax Technologies innovates, develops, manufactures and markets products designed specifically to meet the emerging needs of athletes and those who are involved in ensuring their health and safety. The Triax Smart Impact Monitor (SIM) is a wearable sensor embedded in headbands or skullcaps that tracks the force and frequency of head impacts during play, empowering parents, coaches and athletic trainers with the tools needed to improve player safety and refine technique in real-time.  By utilizing the Watson language service, this device can factor in more diverse data sources to analyze sentiment and infer cognitive and social characteristics to provide a more holistic view of athletic safety and performance. Concussions in sports are a hot topic, and a prevalent injury.
The CDC estimates that 3.8M sports-related head injuries occur each year, further highlighting the need for enhanced risk assessment, monitoring/metrics and player evaluation.

Mobile Expert Sourcing: Spare5 is creating a cognitive app called, “Watson Golf Pro” that leverages Watson’s deep learning, natural language, and vision capabilities to act as a personal caddy that amateur players can consult while at the driving range or on the course. Based on the corpus of knowledge about mechanics and drills obtained from contracted golf professionals combined with Watson’s ability to “see” a user’s golf swing will enable the app to provide feedback on how to implement better fundamentals. The Watson powered app can also deliver information and feedback in the right tone based on learning the nuanced personality of the users to better motivate the player to learn and take action.

Scientific Research and Innovation: 113 Industries is working with the Pittsburgh Penguins to transform the game-day experience for hockey fans. By leveraging 113 Industries’ “Pi” service embedded with Watson natural language cognitive capabilities, the Penguins can analyze large volumes of fan-based data to develop specialized offers and services for fans visiting the CONSOL Energy Center. This can range anywhere from the concessions to merchandise to the pregame/postgame entertainment. For example, by applying cognitive computing to marketing, the Penguins will be armed with the insights needed to tap into the growing millennial demographic in Pittsburgh and communicate with fans in various ways – to ensure they have an enjoyable experience and return to future games.

IBM has a 20 plus year heritage in applying new technologies, such as
Sports Analytics, in a variety of ways to improve the coach, fan and player experience. Today’s sports and wellness partner examples join recently announced efforts by ORRECO in helping to train the world’s best athletes; Brightminded in changing the way personal trainers manage their fitness business and clients and knowledge; and Edge Up Sports in the competitive world of fantasy football. These organizations are leveraging the Watson Developer Cloud, a platform used by more than 77,000 developers globally to embed Watson and pilot, test and deploy their business ideas.

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

Watson is the first open cognitive computing technology platform and represents a new era in computing where systems understand the world in the way that humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

To advance Watson, IBM has two dedicated business units: Watson, established for the development of cloud-delivered cognitive computing technologies that represent the commercialization of "artificial intelligence" or "AI" across a variety of industries, and Watson Health, dedicated to improving the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers and other related health organizations to surface new insights from data to and deliver personalized healthcare.

For more information on IBM Watson, visit: ibm.com/Watson and ibm.com/press/watson.

Join the conversation at #ibmwatson. Follow Watson on Facebook and see Watson on YouTube and Flickr.

Contact(s) information

John Connolly
IBM Media Relations
781-636-8512
jconnol@us.ibm.com

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Triax Technologies innovates, develops, manufactures and markets products designed specifically to meet the emerging needs of athletes and those who are involved in ensuring their health and safety. By utilizing the Watson language service, this device can factor in more diverse data sources to analyze sentiment and infer cognitive and social characteristics to provide a more holistic view of athletic safety and performance (credit: Triax Technologies)

Spare5 is creating a cognitive app called, “Watson Golf Pro” that leverages Watson’s deep learning, natural language, and vision capabilities to act as a personal caddy that amateur players can consult while at the driving range or on the course (credit: Spare5)

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