In its most concrete investigation into emerging technology so far, IBM has announced it will spend up to US$3 billion in a specialist unit revolving around the Internet of Things.

The hardware giant is set to found the new project in New York State, with operations based in the cloud, Reuters explains, which will then “offer companies ways to make use of the new and multiplying sources of data such as building sensors, smartphones and home appliances to enhance their own products.”

The agency reports that IBM’s first partnership will involve part of the Weather Co. transferring its data to the cloud in order for IBM customers to use it in tandem with its analytics tools. High-profile names are said to already be involved, these including Continental AG and jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.

Joel Cawley, GM for information and Insights as a Service at IBM told TechCruch:

“When I think about this, my business is building service delivery environments. We have been looking for a handful of anchor tenants. Twitter and The Weather Company are great anchor tenants. We can build a lot of stuff around this.”

The announcement continues IBM’s new trajectory away from its traditional hardware roots towards increasing activity experimental zones. Last month, rumors were circulating that another project, Adept, was in the works, which would address not only the Internet of Things but would also be based on the blockchain. Further details as to the scope of Adept remain at large, yet the concept is just the latest in the slew of similar news to have come from IBM in the last 12 months.

Reuters adds that this week’s investment news contributes to the company’s overall aim to gain US$40 billion in annual revenue from cloud-based operations by 2018.

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