Electrolux and IBM use AI for sustainable and better living experiences

Electrolux and IBM use AI for sustainable and better living experiences

SINGAPORE – 17 November  2020 Imagine your household appliances being smart enough to read the weather forecast and give you recommendations on when to start the dryer because it’s about to rain, or when to turn off the air purifier because the air quality that day is good. A new collaboration between leading global appliance company Electrolux and IBM (NYSE: IBM) subsidiary The Weather Company, a global expert on weather and climate data, has turned this into a reality.

According to a consumer insight study by Electrolux, weather and climate changes have been shown to play a big role in the usage of household appliances. With the help of The Weather Company, consumers will have the option to make smarter decisions in their households to increase energy efficiency and lessen their impact on the environment.

Hyper-localized data on air quality, pollen levels, humidity and temperature will be sent via IBM’s weather data API to Electrolux and used as a basis for smart app recommendations about when to use appliances such as clothes dryers, air purifiers and air conditioners. This added level of information can help consumers make energy-saving decisions in the APAC and MEA region, where high levels of air pollution, heat and humidity are common.

REDIFINING WEATHER PREDICTIONS

How does this work? To create a forecast, the team uses AI and analytics to pull weather models together with relevant data sources and arrive at the most accurate forecast, with oversight from an expert team of meteorologists. That process includes the IBM GRAF (Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting) system, a next-generation AI-enabled weather forecasting model, which uses machine learning to rapidly update atmospheric changes hourly and at a 3km resolution. This provides consumers unprecedented clarity of weather activity around the globe.

The Weather Company not only improves weather predictions to help communities brace for upcoming weather conditions but also enables millions of industries such as retail, energy and utilities, agriculture, insurance, aviation and more to provide better customer experiences.

“The Weather Company is one of the most accurate weather forecaster globally[1], and the AI enabled IBM GRAF system delivers advanced capabilities so people and businesses, virtually anywhere, can make better decisions. The work we are doing here with Electrolux is the tip of the iceberg in what we can achieve with this technology,” said Martin Chee, Managing Director, IBM Singapore.

BETTER LIVING WITH A CONNECTED ECOSYSTEM

These real-time, geo-targeted weather predictions will be made available through the Electrolux Life App enabling sustainable living recommendations on a daily basis. Users will be prompted to use their clothes dryer when rain is forecasted or when the air quality is not acceptable for air-drying. Similarly, the application recommends not to use the dryer when the outdoor weather is optimal for air-drying, thus saving energy.

The app can also control other inputs for appliances, such as the humidity control for air conditioners and accurate readings of indoor and outdoor weather to inform the use of air purifiers. The use of multiple Electrolux appliances benefits from access not just to accurate weather forecasts but also to environmental factors such as air quality, pollen, pollution and more.

IT’S A BREEZE TO USE 

“Through extensive consumer-focused workshops with IBM’s The Weather Company, we found simple technology integrations that best help us live out our Better Living promise to consumers,” said Gaurav Julka, Senior Manager for Connectivity at Electrolux, APAC & MEA. “Having cutting-edge weather insights means that consumers will enjoy recommendations about their connected appliances tailored specifically and uniquely to where they live. In this way, we also help environmentally-conscious consumers to save energy and make better sustainable decisions.”

The Electrolux Life App is currently accessible on Android and iOS in Australia & New Zealand, South East Asia and North East Asia, excluding China. Supported languages include English, Thai, Vietnamese, Traditional Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia and Korean.

To date, there have been more than 50,000 downloads in APAC. The weather data will be introduced incrementally as new connected appliances are added to the Electrolux Life App.


[1] The Weather Company is the most accurate forecaster globally, according to the most recent, cumulative report by third-party verifier ForecastWatch, https://www.forecastwatch.com/static/Three_Region_Accuracy_Overview_2010-2017.pdf

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