The Weather Company expands Max Platform offerings
April 25, 2022
The latest innovations to the Max Platform, Max Velocity and Max Alert Live, are being unveiled by IBM and its subsidiary The Weather Company in conjunction with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas.
Like it did over a decade ago with its first real-time weather graphics rendering system, The Weather Company aims to transform the broadcast industry with Max Velocity, a new browser-based video storytelling tool designed to allow media clients to create high-quality digital content quickly and easily from any environment for publishing across platforms. The new tool, available now, helps accelerate storytelling, combining template-based video creation with weather data, interactive mapping and streamlined person-to-person interviews. The browser-based technology allows users to publish the videos from a remote live shot, the studio, or while working from home – anywhere with an internet connection. It is built on top of Max Cloud, a modern, hybrid cloud platform designed to help broadcasters collaborate at scale and increase their content output.
“Our customers want to work from different environments and leveraging cloud-based workflows can help make that possible with Max Velocity. It addresses today’s evolving needs of the media industry to report from any location utilizing high-quality weather graphics expected by audiences, while keeping their infrastructure and assets protected,” said Joe Fiveash, vice president of strategy and media solutions, IBM’s The Weather Company. “As part of IBM, we have the experience, investment and expertise to provide powerful tools at scale. Station groups can use this type of innovation to help realize operational efficiencies, as well as create more content that can potentially be used to help generate advertising revenue.”
The availability of Max Velocity on the secured and highly available Max Cloud helps drive increased collaboration among station groups and disaster recovery that the security and scalability of IBM Cloud can deliver. Max Velocity is engineered to enable broadcasters to:
- Expand and improve storytelling capabilities – Max Velocity’s easy-to-use interface allows team members, or even a sponsor, to create videos quickly whenever and wherever they choose without needing specialized skills or professional hardware.
- Publish from anywhere – Stories can be told from a browser-based device (i.e., laptop, tablet or mobile phone) while at a local school or even at the county fair – anywhere with an internet connection. To add interviews or outside perspective, external experts using a tablet or mobile device can also be brought into the story from remote locations with the click of a button.
- Optimize resources and teamwork – Using Max Velocity, station resources, whether in the same city or across the country, can help produce weather content when needed, especially during severe weather events.
- Potentially drive digital revenue – Creation of video content using Max Velocity can potentially be used to generate advertising opportunities across digital and broadcast platforms. The integrated remote interview component allows for quick and easy production of native advertising content.
- Educate viewers with climate change content – Thanks to a new collaboration with Climate Central, a nonprofit news organization that shares independent climate-related content by its scientists and science reporters, Max Velocity provides quick access to engaging content to help tell deeper climate and weather stories.
In late June, Max Alert Live, the newest component of the alerting platform, will debut to help keep audiences informed and safe by notifying them of disruptive weather events. The solution will utilize the familiar Max user interface and cloud-based technology, so alerts can be managed from anywhere with an internet connection. Once available, broadcasters will be able to match their current on-air look with modern graphics that dynamically adapt to the changing weather to convey the urgency of the emerging threat. By directly integrating data from the National Weather Service (NWS), Max Alert Live will have the ability to automatically trigger messages that scroll across the bottom of the screen when predetermined weather alerts are issued by the NWS.
“Max Alert Live will allow stations to manage National Weather Service watches and warnings from anywhere with an internet connection, helping provide viewers with quick and engaging severe weather notifications,” noted Bill Dow, head of media solutions, IBM’s The Weather Company. “Messaging can be placed anywhere on screen and set to display automatically or manually depending on severity level. Since Max Alert is leveraging Max graphics technology, weather crawls and alerts can match the look and branding of the station’s main weathercast.”