NAB 2017

Weather Co. Intros Mobile Solution For Stations

The Weather Co. is introducing major enhancements to its Max Engage solution for news stations, which will now include the power of IBM Watson, a cognitive digital solution.

Using Watson technology, weathercasters will be able to find the information they need through natural language queries. Updates to the Max Engage system include the ability to automatically detect weather and traffic events, create personalized content and video about those events, and intelligently deliver that content to the right audience, in the right place, at the right time. As a result, the company said, “broadcasters will be able to seamlessly deliver personalized digital content for audiences with higher frequency — without burdening news station staff.”

“We have made tremendous advances in Max Engage’s ability to automatically create and deliver individualized content and videos for weather and traffic-related events,” said Bill Dow, executive, media solutions, The Weather Co. “With these new enhancements, newscasters can produce up to 10 times more content than they do today. Through targeted distribution, stations can share this content through alerts only to those users in the part of the DMA that will be affected, such as when traffic on a key highway route slows below normal or when high temps will exceed 90 degrees in a specific location.”

Max Engage with Watson can “radically accelerating the manual, time-consuming process of curating a menu of relevant, timely subject matter across digital properties,” the company said.

Among its features:

Content Curation — Using intelligent, content curation, the Max Engage system uses relevant weather information it discovers to produce fun, animated, silent videos with as much or as little human intervention desired. The feature will automatically serve end-users with unique, updated videos multiple times a day.


Geo-Fencing — The weather video forecasts will be pushed to consumers through mobile, social, and web at the same time. For mobile, through automated geo-fencing technology, the content of each video will be truly individualized based on a user’s location down to street level.

Enhanced Storytelling — Max Engage with Watson increases audience engagement with the content itself by using the Watson Natural Language Understanding API to service relevant content, such as weather history and current conditions, to enhance storytelling. In future updates, Watson will also help mine unstructured data from the Internet of Things or other data sources to highlight impacts to consumers such as street flooding and down power lines. The Weather Co. will be teaching Watson to answer personal questions via voice or text that will empower consumers to make better decisions throughout their day, such as “Will I need a jacket today?” or “When is the best time to start gardening?”

Interactive Social Streaming — Max Engage with Watson will allow broadcasters to stream to social platforms directly from their familiar Max interface. This seamless integration will allow the broadcaster to see the audience comments in real time while streaming so they can see the most frequently asked questions for them to answer, keeping the audience engaged and the conversation relevant.

Read all of TVNewsCheck‘s NAB 2017 news here.

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