The Weather Company, an IBM Business, Transforms Weather and Traffic Storytelling with Expansions to Max Ecosystem

No matter the conditions outside, when consumers need their local weather and traffic updates, they seek actionable information that will help them prepare for or plan their days. At the 2016 NAB Show,The Weather Company, an IBM Business (NYSE: IBM), will launch a new interactive presentation tool and introduce major enhancements to the company’s industry-leading augmented reality and analytics solutions to allow broadcasters to provide the critical planning and potentially life-saving information that audiences need, whenever and wherever they may be. “We have successfully used The Weather Company’s Max platform for nearly six years and seen a tremendous increase in engagement levels. Some of the newer products have allowed us to enhance how we bring the weather story to life across all platforms,” said Kevin Eubank, meteorologist, KSL TV. “The Weather Company is an industry leader when it comes to innovative cross-platform weather data and visualization solutions. What makes it even better is that all of the applications seamlessly integrate into the existing Max platform, making it easier for me to provide my audience with the information they need.” The Max Ecosystem offerings being unveiled at NAB include:

  • Max Connect, a groundbreaking new application that enables presenters to interact with augmented reality elements in real time while continuously facing the audience. An iPad-based app, Max Connect removes the need for presenters to be tethered to one location, and enables them to maintain control over their show as they move freely around the studio or report remotely from location during breaking weather events. Via Max Connect, presenters will have quick access to any data layer or tool - allowing the weather team to more naturally telestrate and control their shows without having to use more cumbersome hand tracking or a touch screen. In addition, since Max Connect offers a familiar mobile design, presenters are empowered to confidently execute their shows at all times - even during severe weather when speed is critical.
  • The addition of virtual sets toMax Reality, an industry-leading solution that uses advanced augmented reality technology to create dynamic, 3D visualizations of storms and atmospheric events. The new virtual sets can be easily integrated using the existing chromakey technology and familiar Max workflow that the presenter has already invested in, and will allow presenters to quickly and easily pull together rich augmented reality visualizations when speed is critical (ie: during severe weather). When there is severe weather, Max Reality is the ideal solution to deliver weather explainers to drive viewers to take action for their safety.
  • The addition of social posting toMax Engage, a robust analytics engine that constantly monitors weather events and serves up the content to tell the right weather story to the impacted mobile audience using geo-fenced push notifications.Now, meteorologists will be able to publish concise and contextual hyper-local weather and traffic information directly to social platforms on a daily basis, which is critical for increasing engagement on other easily monetized platforms like web and mobile. And when there is severe weather, this solution will provide meteorologists with a fast and automated way to send geo-targeted customized push alerts to mobile users who are in the path of impending destructive weather.

“Our expanded product offerings for the Max Ecosystem will fundamentally shift the way weather is presented across all content platforms,”  said Mark Gildersleeve, president of business solutions, The Weather Company. “Through innovations to Max Reality, we’ve made it easier for presenters to deliver immersive experiences that bring the audience into significant weather events, conveying the impact in a way that’s never been done before. And, with Max Engage, stations now can deliver the most important content to audiences wherever they are, and right when they need it most." NAB attendees will have the opportunity to interact with Max Reality, Max Connect and Max Engage capabilities in-person at The Weather Company’s booth (SL6104), which will include a complete virtual set using Ross Camera tracking. Hourly presentations featuring the Max Reality graphics and augmented reality virtual set will allow attendees to become fully immersed and take them back to December 26, 2015 - a day where four extreme weather events (Record Warmth, severe weather storms, flooding, and a blizzard) occurred in different cities across the country. The presentation will use real weather data from that day, ingested through the Max Ecosystem, and highlight different ways for broadcasters to better engage with their viewers and keep them safe.

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